A jury has this week been told that a former Haverhill pub landlord who has gone on trial accused of a string of sex offences against two young girls was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character and a “bully”.
Peter Lee, 75, formerly of the Woolpack and now living in Lords Lane, Heacham, near King’s Lynn, has pleaded not guilty to 19 charges.
The jury at Ipswich Crown Court was told they were specimen charges relating to a much larger number of alleged offences.
As the trial opened on Monday (September 23), prosecutor Charles Myatt alleged that Lee was a “Jeckyll and Hyde” character.
Mr Myatt told the court: “He had a public front as the life and soul of any situation, everyone got on with him, but behind the scenes he was a physical and sexual bully.”
Lee has pleaded not guilty to 13 offences of indecent assault on a girl agedunder 16 and six offences of gross indecency with a girl aged under 16.
The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1972 and 1981.
When the alleged offences occurred Lee had been living at an address in Deans Close, Haverhill and later at the Woolpack public house where he wasthe landlord.
Giving evidence, the older of the two girls who is now in her fifties, claimed that Lee had repeatedly subjected her to sexual touching and been forced to indecently touch Lee.
The abuse took place on an almost weekly basis, said the alleged victim, who said Lee had warned her at the time not to reveal what took place, describing it to her as “our little secret.”
She claimed that the abuse began when she was aged nine and did not cease until she was 15.
After being in contact with the other alleged victim, who is now in her forties, the woman said they had decided to go to the police in January to make their allegations against Lee.
The court heard that media reports of high profile sexual abuse cases, including those involving Jimmy Savile, had encouraged the two women to come forward more than 30 years after the alleged abuse of them took place.
Following his arrest, Lee denied all the allegations against him and told police he could not understand why the girls had lied about him, said prosecutor Mr Myatt.
The trial continues.