A former school caretaker has gone on trial accused of sex offences against two young girls dating back more than 30 years.
Some of the offences that Robert Bambury, 75, stands accused of are said to have been committed in a storeroom at Clare Middle School while he showed one of the girls where he worked.
A jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard claims this week that Bambury had started a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 13 years old and which continued for around four years.
Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said the victim had been unaware that similar allegations had been made against Bambury until police officers – gathering background information on him – got in touch with her.
The jury was shown a recorded interview in which the woman alleged that Bambury had indecently touched her on numerous occasions.
She said she believed at the time that she was in love with Bambury, despite him being more than 20 years older than her. Their relationship ended when she found a boyfriend nearer to her own age. She said she felt that Bambury had “stolen part of her childhood”.
The second alleged victim is said to have been sexually assaulted and raped by Bambury over a period of more than seven years. She decided to go to police after an emotional discussion with her daughter.
Mr Thompson told the jury: “She had, until then, locked away the memories and had not thought about them for years. She had perhaps believed, naively, that this was well in the past and would stay there.”
It is alleged that Bambury, now of Wright Close, Stowmarket, repeatedly touched the girl indecently, before later raping her.
When arrested and interviewed, Bambury denied all the allegations and told police that he could not understand why the women had made them up.
He has pleaded not guilty to a total of 17 charges, all of which are alleged to have been committed between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s.
The trial continues.