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Jehovah's Witness elder 'sexually abused girl, 12'

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Western Mail (Wales, UK), Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - FRONT PAGE

An elder member of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation subjected a girl to years of sexual abuse, a court has heard.

Thomas Brian Jenkins, 74, appeared at Merthyr Crown Court on Monday charged with 20 counts of indecent assault against a girl in the 1970s.

The alleged abuse began when the girl was 12 years old and continued until she was 14.

Jenkins, of Landor Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, denies indecently assaulting the girl by touching her genitals on “dozens of occasions".

Opening the case for the prosecution, Timothy Evans said the abuse began shortly after the girl moved to a village in Powys with her family, who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, and became involved with the local congregation.

Mr Evans said Jenkins, an elder member of the congregation, would take the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and her older brother out in a car to knock on people’s doors.

“The defendant would get someone going out house to - turn to page 4

Jehovah's Witness denies 20 historic sex attack charges

Western Mail (Wales, UK), Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - page 4

from page 1 - house, as they describe it, trying to promote the religion,” said Mr Evans.

Mr Evans said Jenkins would wait until the girl’s brother was outside of the car before turning around to her in the back seat. “He would then touch her,” he said.

“He would chat her up. He would say how lovely she was. He would be jokey about it.”

Mr Evans said some of the offending took place during organised trips to Brecon Swimming Pool.

“Under the pretence of playing with them in the pool and trying to assist her to swim properly or to swim better, he would take hold of her and lift her up in the air,” Mr Evans said.

“He was trying, briefly, to get his fingers inside her swimming costume.”

A police interview with the alleged victim was played to the court.

She described the pattern of abuse she said happened on weekend car trips to knock on people’s doors.

She said: “In essence, what he would do, as soon as my brother was outside - I was in the back - he would turn around, he would try to force his hands up my skirt.

“He would try and coerce and cajole me into allowing him to do it - trying to be jokey about it.”

She added: “As a Jehovah’s Witness, you are not allowed to wear trousers, you have to wear skirts.”

She said she would try to keep her legs tight together and that Jenkins would act “like it was a game” and pay her “compliments”.

She said he would be “trying to get his fingers actually inside my pants - trying to lift the edge of my pants to get further inside”.

Speaking about Brecon Swimming Pool, she said: “He would just be very touchy feely.

“Always trying to grab my hips and bounce me around in the water.

“It was kind of inappropriate at that age really. I wasn’t a toddler.”

She added: “He would always try and get his hands inside my costume underneath the water.

“It appeared to anybody else that he would just be swishing me around in the water but he would try to get his fingers inside my costume in the same area.”

The trial continues.

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