Vicar 'tried to rape schoolgirl'

A vicar tried to rape a schoolgirl in his church hall office and said she could not get pregnant because he had had "the snip", a court heard today.

The Rev Malcolm Jackson, the 52-year-old vicar of Kirkleatham, Teesside, denies rape, attempted rape, sexual activity with a child and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Christine Egerton, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said the girl struggled when Jackson tried to rape her in his office after pulling down her trousers.

The barrister said: "She told him she could get pregnant. His response was he had, in his words, 'had the snip'.

"She still struggled, eventually he stopped."

Miss Egerton explained how the abuse started. "He would hug her inappropriately, he would try to kiss her," she said.

"He would ask her to see underwear.

"He went on to sexually abuse her in a number of different ways."

Jackson, a married father-of-three of Mersey Road, Redcar, was accused of raping the schoolgirl on one occasion, and abusing her on another.

The girl did not tell anyone at the time, Miss Egerton said, but came forward 18 months later.

"She thought nobody would believe her because he was a vicar," the court heard.

In a video interview conducted by police, the girl wept as she recounted her ordeal.

She said after the church hall attack: "I was shocked.

"I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to do.

"I kept thinking: 'You're supposed to be a vicar'."

After the last of his alleged attacks, which happened over a period of months, Jackson blamed the girl, the court heard.

She told police he said: "You got me at a weak time, you have really hurt me. It's your fault."

She told the detective conducting the video interview: "I didn't understand what he was saying. I couldn't say anything back."