Teen sex assault complainant denies ‘wanting to bring down’ Rotherham mayor Barry Dodson

Former Mayor of Rotherham Barry Dodson, who faces charges of sexual assault, leaves Sheffield Crown Court, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on 3 August 2015.'See Ross Parry copy RPYMAYOR''rossparry.co.uk/Harry Whitehead
Former Mayor of Rotherham Barry Dodson, who faces charges of sexual assault, leaves Sheffield Crown Court, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on 3 August 2015.'See Ross Parry copy RPYMAYOR''rossparry.co.uk/Harry Whitehead
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A woman who says she was sexually assaulted as a child by a former mayor of Rotherham has denied inventing the claims to ‘bring him down’.

The complainant gave evidence at Sheffield Crown Court today in the trial of Barry Dodson, who is alleged to have indecently assaulted her in the summer of 1987 when she was 13.

The woman, who cannot be named, had sent an email to Dodson on June 25 last year saying he was going to report him to the police so people would know ‘what type of man’ he was.

She said she had come forward after seeing he had become mayor of Rotherham and she did not want him to come into contact with children.

Dodson, aged 67, of Cranworth Road, East Dene, denies carrying out the attack at the grounds of Boston Castle in Rotherham. It is alleged he invited the girl to help him with making a wedding video.

The court heard Dodson put his hand up the girl’s skirt and sexually assaulted her, before asking for a kiss and then trying to get her to touch him.

Louise Sweet, representing Dodson, asked the complainant if she had written to her client because she had a grudge against him.

She said: “Did you send that email as a nasty threat because you didn’t like him and wanted to bring him down?”

The complainant said that was not the case.

She said: “I sent him that email because of what he did to me.”

Miss Sweet also said that the complainant had not mentioned anything about an incident involving Dodson to the police after making an allegation about a sexual assault involving another man in December 2013.

She added that it was Dodson who first reported the email to the police.

The court also heard from the complainant’s ex-partner, who said she had told him when they were both teenagers that she had been assaulted as a child by Dodson.

He said: “She was a wreck. She was crying - I have never seen her like that before.”

Asked why she had not reported the matter to police, he said: “She didn’t want to cause any upset because she didn’t think she would be believed.”

Another witness said the complainant had told she about being assaulted by Dodson when she was around 14 and the witness was 12.

“I can’t remember the exact conversation but she told me he had done something sexual to her and that not to tell anyone,” she said.

“Although we knew it was wrong, I don’t think I realised the severity of what she told me.”

A further witness, who is the girlfriend of one of the complainant’s family members, said she had a similar conversation with the woman in 2011.

The witness said the complainant said Dodson had ‘messed around with her’ when she was 12 or 13.

The trial continues.