Friday, 21 August 2015

NOT GUILTY: Three Men Cleared Of Sex Abuse Charges

L to R: McNally, Stone & Titcomb
Three men accused of preying on a schoolgirl over three decades ago were cleared by a jury of all charges yesterday.

They are: Michael McNally, 72, of Hughenden Road, Hastings.

George Stone, 68, of Halton Terrace, Hastings.

Gary Titcomb, 61, of Woodland Road, Maple Cross, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

All three had pleaded not guilty at Harrow Crown Court to two counts each of indecently assaulting the girl on dates between August 7, 1976 and August 7, 1983.

When they were arrested all three denied abusing the girl, with Stone saying the furthest anything got was the youngster flashing her breasts at him in return for money.

Prosecutor Mr. George Heimler told the jury Titcomb was responsible for the initial abuse of the girl, who lived at two different addresses in Harrow during the period of the charges.

"He called her into the bedroom and he was in bed naked and instructed her to get into bed. Fearing she would be punished again, she got in."

The jury were told Titcomb thrust himself between her thighs and ordered her to rock back and forwards, saying: "That's nice. Faster, faster."

The complainant, now aged 44 years-old, first reported the allegations to police late last year and gave a video interview to officers, recalling the incidents with Titcomb.

"I must have been five or six years-old and I can remember it happened twice. If it happened more I don't know, I have blacked it out.

"When I was twenty years-old I had a panic attack and thought I was having a heart attack.

"The last few years the feelings have come back, I hate myself. That's why I have to report it, I hate the feeling, it cost me my childhood."

She added that Titcomb was also physically abusive. "He use'd to hit me with a belt."

Mr. Heimler told the court McNally started abusing the girl a few years later. "He started to touch her when she was ten or eleven years-old.

"He would go into her room and put his hand under the duvet and under her knickers and touch her and she pretended to be asleep.

"It happened on countless occasions and when eventually confronted his response was to savagely beat her."

The complainant said of McNally. "He touched my boob while play fighting and I always thought it was an accident, but then he started a week later coming into my bedroom.

"He put his hand under the covers and under my knickers."

She said McNally's friend Stone also groped her. "He would buy alcohol and sweets and things and grab my boobs and put his fingers inside me and give me money."

Mr. Heimler added: "Stone got use'd to putting his hand under her clothes and fondling her. This happened two or three times.

"According to the complainant he apologised to her for what he had done."

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