Former Clare caretaker on trial for sex offences

Two teenagers were approached by a man in a car who asked them to get in
Two teenagers were approached by a man in a car who asked them to get in

A former school caretaker has gone on trial accused of sex offences against two young girls more than 30 years ago.

Robert Bambury, 75, has denied 17 alleged offences, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court was

told this week.

Some of the offences are said to have been committed in a gym and a storeroom at Clare Middle School while Bambury was showing one of the girls where he worked.

The court has heard claims that Bambury had started a sexual relationship with that girl when she was aged 13 and which continued for around four years.

Prosecuting, Andrew Thompson said the girl had been unaware that similar allegations had been made against Bambury by someone else until police gathering background information about him got in touch with her.

After being questioned by police the girl had told officers that she had a something Jimmy Savile related” to tell them about Bambury and then asked if that was why they had come to see her.

The jury were shown a recorded interview in which the girl alleged that Bambury had indecently touched her on numerous occasions, both at the school where he worked and on a sofa at his house.

The girl said she had believed at the time that she was in love with Bambury, despite him being more than 20 years older than her, but later their relationship ended when she found a boyfriend who was nearer her own age.

She said that she felt that Bambury had “stolen part of my childhood.”

The second alleged victim is said to have been sexually assaulted and eventually raped by Bambury over a period of more than seven years.

The girl had decided to go to police after remaining silent for almost three decades after an emotional discussion with her daughter, said Mr Thompson.

Mr Thompson told the jury: “She had until then locked away the memories and had not thought about them for years. She had perhaps believed, naively, that this was well in the past and would stay there. In more recent years she had lived as if nothing had happened.”

It is alleged that Bambury , now of Wright Close, Stowmarket, had repeatedly touched the girl indecently, sometimes under the guise of playing a game until he raped her before his sexual interest in her appeared to cease, said Mr Thompson.

Bambury has pleaded not guilty to nine offences of indecent assault against the first second girl.

All the offences are alleged to have been committed between the mid 1970s and the mid 1980s.

When arrested and interviewed Bambury denied all the allegations and told police that he could not understand why the girls had made them up, said Mr Thompson

Neither of the alleged victims of Bambury were aware that the other had made allegations about him, the court heard.

Giving evidence, the girl who told police she had something “Jimmy Savile related” to say about Bambury, said that on one occasion she had awoken in a tent while on a youth-club organised camping trip to find he was sexually assaulting her.

The girl said that after she began seeing a boyfriend who was nearer her own age she had no further contact with Bambury and had tried to put the memory of what she claimed happened behind her.

The trial continues.