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Girl 'may have been told to lie’, man accused of indecent assault claims

Girl 'may have been told to lie’, man accused of indecent assault claims

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Girl 'may have been told to lie’, man accused of indecent assault claims

Claims by a young girl that she was indecently assaulted may have been “lies” she was told to tell by others, according to the 50-year-old man accused of the crimes.

Yesterday marked the second day in the jury trial of Adelio Camara Marques, who denies three counts of indecent assault and one count of procuring an act of gross indecency.

The girl alleges that, over a two-year period when she was under 12, that Mr Marques performed a sex act on himself in front of her in a car park and got her to touch his penis, as well touching her indecently on several other occasions.

In a police interview given on the morning of his arrest in May last year, Mr Marques called the allegations “lies”, and that though he didn't know why she was making them, he suggested that other people could have influenced her to say them.

He described a particular allegation that he had kissed her with his tongue when they were alone at an event as “another lie” during the interview, telling Police that there were many attendees who would have potentially witnessed it if it happened.

Yesterday also saw two people who the girl shared the allegations with take to the stand to give evidence.

One said that the girl had been prompted to speak out after several years due to the effect the alleged assaults had on her. She described the girl as having “freaked out" when a boy she liked put his arm round her in a friendly way.

The other witness said she had observed the girl “wasn’t acting like normal girls” and had reached “breaking point” last year, finally explaining the alleged assaults after she had persisted in asking what was wrong.

Defending Mr Marques, Advocate Adam Harrison pointed out an “inconsistency” in the account the girl gave the Police and what she had told others, and differences in the threats she alleged he had made to ensure she would not tell others.

He also said the lack of precise dates and details offered by the accuser left his client at a “material disadvantage” in defending himself.

Summing up, Advocate Harrison described the evidence in the case as “nowhere near strong enough to prove that Mr Marques is guilty of the offences of which he is charged.”

In contrast, Crown Advocate Julian Gollop described the girl as “a credible witness; she was measured, very clear in her evidence." 

The prosecuting advocate said the fact the girl had opened up to three other people about Mr Marques’ alleged behaviour was also evidence she was telling the truth.

Advocate Gollop said he could see only one inconsistency in the accounts she told witnesses and Police, going on to ask the jury whether it would be more surprising if a child had given a “word for word” account to everyone. He also questioned why she would go through the “daunting” experience of court to lie. 

“You would be staggered if she gave the same account every single time, if there weren’t slight differences,” he told the jury.

He said that suggestions that someone else had told her to say the allegations were “very vague and unsatisfactory, and very unclear.”

Commissioner Clyde-Smith is due to sum up today, before the jury retire to make their decision.

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