'Sexual predator' trial jury out to consider verdict
THE jury has been sent out to consider its verdict in the case of a man accused of being a “sexual predator” since the 1980s.
Brian Leighton Sturley, of Robert Street, Manselton, is facing 26 counts including rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child, assault by penetration and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, on seven alleged victims.
During his summing up Mr Justice Royce, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, reminded jury members of the evidence they had heard during the two-week trial.
He said the first of the victims had come forward and told police of her abuse after her own sexual relationship with her boyfriend became affected.
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In 2011, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was “in agony” as she suffered flashbacks of the alleged abuse, which included two cases of rape she claimed to have suffered at Sturley’s hands. She said she was having trouble sleeping, could not be alone at home, and was having nightmares.
She also told police she had suffered a miscarriage, but the judge warned the jury there was no firm evidence of this.
She went to police to make her complaint on Easter Saturday last year after she woke up screaming and crying.
Another young victim came forward days later after hearing about the first victim’s experiences.
She confessed a series of alleged incidents to her mother, who had noticed her daughter had become withdrawn in the days after the first victim made her video statement to police.
Further allegations were then made by other victims who had got in touch with each other by social media.
Another two victims came forward after a report, in the Evening Post, detailing Sturley’s first court appearance the following November.
The prosecution allege Sturley, 56, “groomed” his victims and continued to use them before “ditching” them and moving on to another victim.
Sturley, who denies all the offences, has told the court he believes the case against him has been “orchestrated”.
He claimed the victims had made up their testimonies in an attempt to gain compensation payouts.
The defence also said that Sturley would not have been able to commit some of the offences as he had been severely affected by a series of medical conditions after he suffered a stroke.
Judge Royce sent the jury, of ten women and two men, out to consider its verdict late yesterday afternoon.
They were then dismissed for the day and will return to continue deliberations today.
The trial continues.