October 22, 2010

Defence calls evidence to deny abuse claims

The defence is calling six witnesses to deny crown allegations of sexual abuse of three girls by a Child, Youth, and Family foster carer, John Alexander Lindsay.

The 60-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of abuse including one charge of rape of a girl aged under 16, seven of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, one of attempted rape, and one of attempted sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

The abuse against girls in his care is alleged to have taken place between 1980 and 2003 in Southland and Christchurch.

Legal argument took place when the crown closed its case yesterday, on the fourth day of the trial before Judge Raoul Neave and a jury in the Christchurch District Court.

The judge told the jury today that discussions were continuing and they would later be issued with an amended indictment setting out the changes.

Defence counsel Vanessa Sugrue said the defence would call evidence from six witnesses including Lindsay, his wife, and two social workers.

Lindsay would say that the first of the three complainants was confused about who had perpetrated abuse upon her, and it was not the accused.

The defence would say that the second complainant’s allegations were “a figment of her imagination”. Two social workers involved with the woman would say that she had made no disclosures of abuse – as she claimed in evidence – and it she had she would have been immediately removed from the home.

One of these witnesses would give evidence that the claims she now made were “a total shock” and “it didn’t happen”.

The trial had been played a videotaped police interview in which he denied the allegations by the third complainant.

Lindsay told the court that the first complainant’s allegation of him having sex with her were absolutely untrue and “pure fantasy”.

He said the woman’s description of her abuser did not match his description at the time in terms of hair colour or glasses. The defence produced a photograph of him taken at that period.

He said his wife was seldom out of the house during that time. She did not drive and stayed at home while he worked.

The trial is expected to finish next week.