A police officer sexually abused a seven-year-old girl while he was babysitting at her home in Bulwell, it has been alleged at Nottingham Crown Court.
Alan Martin faces charges that date back to the 1970s when he was a uniformed constable in his early to mid-30s.
Martin, who is now 71, pleads not guilty to eight counts of indecently assaulting the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between 25th July 1975 and 20th May 1978.
Prosecutor Richard Thatcher said Martin, who now lives on Teesbrook Drive in Wollaton, committed the abuse once a fortnight over a period of two years.
The girl claimed her mother and stepfather knew what was happening, but did nothing.
On one occasion, her stepfather even walked in to find the girl lying next to Martin on his bed. But he vented his anger at the girl, rather than the police officer, throwing a cushion at her.
The court was told that the abuse stopped after the youngster and siblings left to live with their father and his new wife in Aspley.
She finally plucked up the courage to report the abuse and ‘tell the full truth’, the court heard, after a family wedding in April 2013.
Yesterday, before the jury retired to consider its verdict after a trial lasting three days, his barrister told the court there was no way of knowing if Martin’s alleged victim of child abuse was telling the truth.
“This case has an air of almost complete unreality to it,” Adrian Reynolds (defending) said.
“There is no context to the allegations, which are just snap shots plucked from here and there, making it very difficult for Mr Martin to refute them. There is no independent evidence. All we have to go on is the woman telling you A and the defendant telling you B.”
Martin has no previous convictions or causdesions.
Mr Reynolds claimed that it was very hard to argue that Martin was a serial paedophile.
“He doesn’t tick any of the obvious boxes,” he said. “He has had two marriages, has four children and also grandchildren and great-grandchildren. No-one else has ever accused of him of things like this. Why, in this one period of his life, would he suddenly start abusing a pre-pubertal girl?”
Mr Reynolds pointed out that, at the time of the allegations, Martin was having an affair with the alleged victim’s mother.
Mr Reynolds suggested that the woman had ‘taken innocent incidents and turned them into something sinister’.
He also felt the allegations had been ‘lost in the mists of time’.
“Getting to the truth of these matters is sorely prejudiced by the delay of 35 years,” he continued.
However, in his summing-up, Mr Thatcher (prosecuting) insisted the abuse ‘had been staring her in the face for the last 35 years’.
“At the time, Alan Martin conveyed a sense of awe, a sense that he was almost untouchable,” said Mr Thatcher.
“Back in the 1970s, these things were rarely discussed and children were not believed. But attitudes have changed appreciably now. The fact that she has taken 35 years to come forward does not make the claims less valid.
“Appearing in court has been a truly painful experience. Her distress clearly arose from what Alan Martin did to her.
“By telling her to keep quiet, he intended to buy her silence -- and it worked for 35 years.”