NHS worker accused of rapes ‘did have intimate piercing described by alleged victim, 13’

Owen Smith arrives at Sheffield Crown Court. Picture: Andrew Roe
Owen Smith arrives at Sheffield Crown Court. Picture: Andrew Roe

A Sheffield mental health worker accused of sex offences has accepted he had an intimate piercing that was described by an alleged 13-year-old victim.

A now-adult woman had given evidence that defendant Owen Smith had the private piercing when he raped her as a child in the mid-1990s.

Smith, aged 50, had told police in interview he did not have such a piercing.

But giving evidence at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Smith said he did have the intimate piercing.

But he said ‘everybody knew about it’ as it had got infected and affected the way he walked.

He said: “It was the joke of the family because of the way I was walking. I was walking like a cowboy.”

Asked by his barrister Francis Edusei why he had not told police about it in interview when questioned about the complainant’s allegations, he said: “It was like 20 years ago. It didn’t register. I just completely forgot.”

Smith, of Hawley Street, Sheffield, denies five counts of rape, two counts of trafficking and two charges of sexual assault in relation to three alleged victims.

He accepted he had known the first complainant in the 1990s but had never had any sexual contact with her.

He said an allegation that on one occasion he had sex with the 13-year-old girl in front of a disabled boy was not true.

In relation to the other two complainants, who were aged 19 and 16 at the time offences are said to have taken place in 2014, Smith said he had sexual contact with both of them but it had been consensual in both cases.

It is alleged in relation to the 19-year-old complainant that Smith would supply her with legal highs and wait until she was ‘off her face’ before having sex with her. But he said this was not the case.

Smith said when he first met the teenager she had already been taking legal highs and he did not know what they were or go on to buy any for her.

He said they had been in an ‘open relationship’ that had ended after about three months when his girlfriend found out about her.

In relation to the third complainant, a 16-year-old girl who had been living in a children’s home, Smith is alleged to have sexually assaulted her after locking her in his bedroom.

He said the sexual contact between them had been instigated by her and had been consensual.

Police found the girl in Smith’s bedroom after she was reported missing.

The trial continues.