Belfast Telegraph

Court hears abuse accused woman Karen Walker told child 'it's our wee thing'

By Paul Higgins

A woman accused of sexually molesting a little girl 15 years ago allegedly told her it was their "wee thing," a jury has heard.

It was claimed in court that 30-year-old Karen Walker touched the girl's private parts and incited the alleged victim to touch her after telling her: "I'll be the man and you be the woman."

Opening the case against Walker at Downpatrick Crown Court, prosecuting lawyer Samuel Magee told the jury that sometimes Walker reversed the ascribed roles.

Walker told her victim the alleged sexual activity was "our wee thing", the court heard.

Walker, from Bexley Road in Bangor, denies two charges of indecent assault and three counts relating to acts of gross indecency with a child on dates between January 1, 1998 and January 17, 2000.

Her alleged victim was between seven and 10 years old. Mr Magee said while he accepted Walker herself would have been a young teenager at the time of the alleged abuse, "she was old enough, we say, to know what she was doing and to comprehend how inappropriate her actions were".

Mr Magee warned the jury to set aside feelings of sympathy or prejudice and to approach the case in a dispassionate way when seeking the truth of what happened.

The lawyer described how the alleged victim could remember the first incident when Walker convinced her to change her lower clothing to track suit bottoms before allegedly touching her private parts. "She even remembers the brand of track suit bottoms," said Mr Magee.

He added that the alleged victim changed the clothing at Walker's behest "to make it easier for the defendant to access the young girl's intimate parts". Claiming that this behaviour continued on other occasions, Mr Magee told the jury how they would see a 55 minute video of the alleged victim's interview with police.

In it, he said the alleged victim "will say this wasn't simply a one-off" and there were other incidents where she was touched inappropriately or when Walker "got on top of her and began rubbing herself" against the girl.

He outlined that although not the subject of any charge, the complainant would testify there were times when she went to the toilet with Walker when the defendant would allegedly touch herself in front of the girl, advising the jury they may wish to consider that evidence when deciding where the truth lay.

Walker was arrested and interviewed about the allegations in August last year but denies wrongdoing.

"We will invite you to consider the detail that she is able to give when giving her account," Mr Magee told the jury, "whether she is reliving the experiences or if she has invented them.

"You may also want to ask yourselves why the complainant, now in her mid 20s, would make it up after all this time, what would be the point?"

The trial, expected to last three days, continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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