Exmouth man stands trial for child rape and sex charges

16:37 10 September 2012

Archant

An Exmouth man standing trial at Exeter Crown Court accused of a string of sex offences against young girls denies the allegations.

A man accused of raping two schoolgirls amid allegations he offered them lifts home, driving them to remove beauty spots, where he demanded sex, is standing trial at Exeter Crown Court.

Simon Dabbs, aged 26, of Greenpark Road, Exmouth, denies five rapes, five alternative counts of sexual activity with a child, and three sexual assaults. The offences are alleged to have taken place against four girls between September 2005 and March 2010.

Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer Dabbs says the assaults either did not happen at all or the girls consented to sex after lying about their ages.

Exeter Crown Court was told Dabbs hung around school gates and cruised Exmouth seafront looking for girls.

The prosecution said the defendant lied to them about their age, offered to give them lifts but then drove them onto Woodbury Common and threatened to leave them there unless the agreed to have sex.

The jury was told one girl was aged 14 when she was assaulted at Dabb’s home.

Sean Brunton, prosecuting, said: “These assaults took place in the Exmouth area, either in remote car parks where he took them on the pretext of giving them lifts or at his home.

“He would tell the girls he was younger than he was and would offer them cannabis to smoke. He would threaten not to take them home unless they did things for him.

“The two girls were 14 or 15 at the time and he was 25 or 26 and he assaulted them despite the disparity in their ages.”

Mr Brunton said there had been two less serious sexual assaults on two other girls, some two years earlier which, he said, were the precursor to the more serious rape offences and indicated an interest in under-age girls.

The prosecution said the first rape was on a 14-year-old who he took back to his family home when there was nobody else there and forced her to have sex despite her protests.

He said the same girl was 14 or 15 when Dabbs offered to take her home from the centre of Exmouth but instead drove her to Woodbury Common, offered her cannabis, and forced her into a sex act.

Mr Brunton told the jury: ”He told her if she did not do it with him, he would not take her home.”

The jury was told Dabbs used a similar technique with the other girl, who was taken to the Top of the World car park on Woodbury Common.

Mr Brunton said the sexual assaults occurred on two different girls in 2005 or 2006 when the defendant ‘had already developed a taste for young girls and started to abuse them’.

The court was told Dabbs assaulted one girl at a slipway at the far end of Exmouth beach after telling her ‘no one can see us here’ and ‘what happens here stays here’.

Mr Brunton said Dabbs suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome but it did not provide any defence for his alleged behaviour.

The prosecutor said: ”He has a certain immaturity in social skills which renders him more akin to a teenager but it is not relevant to the major issues in this case which is whether these offences were committed.

“He is not saying he misread the situation. He is saying these things never happened or were 100 per cent consensual.”

The trial continues.

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