Victims of sex offences at hands of gym teacher ‘had no vendetta’, jury told

The court heard victims of alleged child sexual abuse by a gymnastics teacher had “nothing to gain, no vengeance” when they reported the matter to their parents and police.

David Shaddick, 62, denies a string of sexual crimes against three girls, which allegedly occurred between 2005 and 2017.

He faces trial in Chelmsford Crown Court after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing or inducing a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of sexual assault and three counts of child sexual abuse.

Shaddick, of Fenno Close, Colchester, is also accused of trying to pervert the course of justice by sending a letter to the mother of one of the complainants and a visit to their home address.

Read more: Former gymnastics teacher faces child sex offense charges

In his closing address to the jury, Attorney General Martin Hooper said the case revolved around “a disparity in age, strength and influence.”

“It’s a betrayal of trust when you have an adult and a child and that’s why it’s especially dangerous,” he added.

Referring to an alleged victim and her answers in the witness box, he said, “She was fair, she was logical and she was honest, we say.”

Mr Hooper said the alleged victims had gone through an “ordeal”, by reporting the allegations to their parents, police, lawyers and jury.

He said: There is no profit for them, is it? There is no retaliation.

“The reason they’re doing all this, the jury members, we’re saying we’ll put it on soon is simply telling the truth.”

In his closing address, defense attorney Richard Kelly told the jury that “consistency is important” when it comes to evidence presented by alleged victims.

Referring to one of the complainants, he said: “There are massive inconsistencies in this evidence.

“This is a criminal trial, where you should be sure.”

He also contested Mr. Hooper’s “unfair” assertion that there was no motive for making the allegations.

He said: The question calls you to reverse the burden of proof by asking him to come up with the answer, so why do they fabricate it?

“Because if you can’t come up with that answer, we’ll assume they’re telling the truth.”

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