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Man acquitted but two remain on trial for sex offences

Will Taylor and Kieran Bell

Man acquitted but two remain on trial for sex offences

Two people remain on trial for sex offences after a third defendant was acquitted yesterday.

John and Mary Gillies, of White Paddock, Woodlands Park, were due to give evidence to the jury at Reading Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday).

Martin Choules, 61, of Harrow Lane, Furze Platt, had joined them in the dock but was acquitted of buggery, the only charge he faced.

Mary Gillies, 60, had also faced that count but was acquitted too. She remains accused of one count of cruelty to a person under 16, indecency with a child, and two counts of indecent assault on a male person.

John Gillies, 65, faces four counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault, one count of indecency with a child, three counts of indecent assault on a male person and one count of buggery.

The allegations, which are all denied by the pair, are said to have taken place in the early 1990s.

The court heard on Friday from an alleged victim, now an adult woman, who described being alone in a bedroom with John Gillies as a child.

She said he had asked her if she wanted him to teach her how to have sex, so she can show her boyfriend when she was older.

The woman said: “I didn’t know it was wrong at the time. It was not until he had me in the bedroom that I felt vulnerable.”

Another witness then took to the stand and told the court that when the alleged victim returned home after the incident, Mary Gillies turned up at the door five minutes later, saying she ‘wanted to apologise’.

“She just kept saying that she was sorry and that it should not have happened,” said the witness.

Cross-examining, defence lawyer Rachel Darby, representing Mary Gillies, told the witness that her statement to police, in 2017, differed to the evidence she had given in court.

Lyall Thompson, defending John Gillies, said the witness had ‘remembered the events to fit the narrative’.

On Wednesday, Mr Gillies took to the witness stand to give evidence while being questioned by Mr Thompson and again denied the charges.

Mr Thompson asked why Gillies had tried, unsuccessfully, to find evidence of his work pattern to present in his defence.

“It would have proved that 18 hours a day, seven days a week I was working so I would not have been in a position to have done what I was accused of,” he said, adding that two of the companies he worked for had gone bust so hadn’t been able to obtain records from them.

He also said he had been impotent since 1994.

“I have been unable to get an erection, never mind have sex,” he said, and told the jury he had talked to a doctor about it, but had been unable to obtain medical evidence proving this.

The trial continues.

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