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Man accused of sex abuse made boy 'do things' if he got footballer names wrong, court told

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Denials: defendant Alan Smythe

Denials: defendant Alan Smythe

Photopress Belfast

Denials: defendant Alan Smythe

A 55-year-old man who claims he was abused as a child told a jury yesterday he was forced "to do things" to an older boy if he got the names of Leeds United footballers wrong.

The complainant was called to give evidence at the trial of 63-year-old Alan Smythe of Lamlash Place in Helensburgh, Scotland, who has been charged with and denies both sexually and physically abusing a younger child in the early 1970s.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in east Belfast when Smythe was aged between 13 and 15, and the complainant was between six and eight.

The Crown opened its case against Smythe to a jury of seven men and five women, with prosecuting barrister Robin Steer telling the members that after hearing all the evidence, they would be "satisfied" the complainant was telling the truth.

It is the Crown's case that the abuse occurred in Smythe's home in east Belfast and when the younger boy accompanied Smythe on his paper round.

Mr Steer said the abuse occurred between December 1970 and November 1972 and came to an end when Smythe joined the Navy and the complainant moved from the area.

When he was called to give evidence, the complainant was asked to recall the first instances where he was sexually abused.

Claiming it occurred at Smythe's house, the complainant said: "There was a room as you come to the top of the stairs, there was a bedroom and that's where we went. I remember the vivid green wallpaper.

"I would have to recite the Leeds United football team, and that's what I had to do I had to recite the team, from goalkeeper to manager and all 11 players. I remember Don Reavey was the manager.

"If I got it wrong, if I hesitated, I would have to do things to him."

The complainant said these incidents occurred three or four times a month.

He also claimed he was both physically and sexually abused by Smythe on the older boy's paper round.

The complainant said: "I remember there was an entry and it was just dark, pitch black.

"I can remember a brick wall and there was no way out that I could see.

"The same thing happened. I had to recite the names of the football team."

Mr Steer said after the complainant raised the allegations in 2012, Smythe was charged with eight counts of gross indecency with or towards a child and four counts of common assault.

He denies all charges against him. The hearing continues.

Belfast Telegraph