Girl 'was assaulted in pool': Five-year-old alleges sex attack at Esther Rantzen's holiday home
Thursday 14 July 1994
The television presenter and ChildLine campaigner was not present at her holiday home in the New Forest but had lent her house to friends in August last year.
Guildford Crown Court was told how the child was splashing about in the pool with Robert Gillings when she shouted out to her mother that he had touched her.
Mr Gillings, 63, of Addlestone, Surrey, and his wife were invited by the girl's parents to visit them at the house. Mr Gillings denies four charges of indecent assault, two allegedly at the country house.
Susan Tapping, for the prosecution, said the girl's parents asked her about the incident the following day and it became apparent that the defendant had sexually assaulted her. They reported it to social services after their holiday.
The jury watched a video filmed shortly after the allegations were made in which the girl talked about the pool incident and also claimed the defendant had touched her private parts on previous occasions.
Miss Tapping told the jury in her opening speech that in a police interview the defendant totally denied the allegations.
Ann Cotcher, for the defence, suggested to the girl she had made up the allegations and that the defendant had only touched her in the swimming pool while they were playing a game of tag.
The girl insisted that she had been assaulted and claimed that Mr Gillings also carried out a serious assault while they were in the changing room. She said the defendant had told her he would kill her mother if she said anything and he would deny it was true.
Speaking to Judge John Bull through a video link with the court, the girl claimed the defendant used to touch her on visits to his house. 'He would lift half my dress up and put his hand up. He would sometimes tickle and sometimes poke,' she said.
During cross-examination, Miss Cotcher pointed out differences between the girl's evidence and what she had told police.
Dr Susan Moore said she examined the girl and found two old healed tears in her hymen.
The trial continues today.
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Office and HR Administrat...
£25000 - £26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The On-Site division of the UK'...
£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...