A PENSIONER raped a young girl, tried to rape another, and sexually abused three more children over a period of almost 40 years, a jury has been told
Martin Connolly, known to many as Mark, preyed on the youngsters who were aged from four years to 14, when he was living inPenhill, Swindon Crown Court heard.
The 77-year-old, whose daughter Alison was murdered in 2015, has admitted trying to rape one girl when she was 13 or 14 years old.
And he also accepted he had indecently assaulted the same child, between 1978 and 1980, having been caught on tape talking about it. The pensioner later told the police that he had tried to rape her three to four times because he was ‘sexually frustrated’ at the time.
But Connolly, now of Windmill Court, Uxbridge Road, Freshbrook, denies a series of allegations relating to one boy and three girls. It is said that he first targeted a young lad in the late 1960s, getting him to touch him intimately in exchange for money.
Steven Jones, prosecuting, told the jury of nine men and three women how the boy was aged six or seven when Connolly abused him.
He said the lad’s older brother told how on one occasion, when he was hiding, he heard the defendant telling his younger sibling ‘touch this and I’ll give you a shilling’.
Mr Jones said one of the girls claimed Connolly, who she knew as Mark, started to sexually abuse her in 1989 when she was just seven years old. She said the abuse, which is alleged to have taken place at his home on Penhill Drive, went on until she was 12 years old in 1995.
He would give her sweets, then cigarettes when she was older, Mr Jones said, and he would rape and sexually abuse her while his partner was elsewhere in the house.
She said he had sex with her the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, and was also shown pornography by him.
Another girl also told how, while he was looking after her, he had also shown her pornography.
“The prosecution say that the similarities of this behaviour is important evidence in a case of this nature,” Mr Jones said. He said the second girl told the police how she was abused by Connolly after learning the first had come forward in late 2014.
When the pair spoke the first girl, who alleges she was repeatedly raped, told the second ‘he had taken her childhood’, Mr Jones said.
Another friend of the second girl told how when she was 13 or 14 the defendant would touch and squeeze her breasts, he said.
On one occasion she said she was at his Penhill Drive home in the early 2000s and he put his hand up her skirt and touched her under her knickers.
Mr Jones said when Connolly was questioned by police he replied the three girls and a boy were lying.
He said he had kissed the girl who accuses him of rape, but he insisted she had come on to him and that no more happened.
Connolly denies four counts of rape, seven of indecent assault, one indecency with a child and one of indecent assault of male child.
He admits attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault on the same victim.