Jury fails to reach verdict in trial of Chippenham builder accused of raping child (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Jury fails to reach verdict in trial of Chippenham builder accused of raping child
4:01pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
Prosecutors have been granted a week to decide whether to seek a retrial on a builder accused of raping an 11-year-old girl.
David Mullis, who is known as Martin, was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing the child in the 1980s.
But after deliberating for more than six hours the panel of seven men and five women failed to reach verdicts on charges of rape and indecent assault.
Mark Worsely, prosecuting at Swindon Crown Court, asked for time to consider whether to have a second trial.
The woman, now aged 40, told the jury how she was repeatedly raped by Mullis in his shed from the age of 11 years.
She said she finally plucked up the courage to report what had happened after bumping into him in a pub years later.
Mullis, a 65-year-old builder, admitted he knew the girl, who he described as 'clingy', in the 1980s but denies doing anything sexual with her.
During the trial the woman said she lived close to the Mullis' family home on Eastern Avenue, Chippenham, and she and her sibling would visit.
On one visit she said he told her she was 'special' and said he wouldn't do anything to her unless she agreed, took her to the shed and had sex with her for the first time.
Over the following couple of years she told the court the same thing happened again and again, usually in the shed but also in his conservatory.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it started when she was 11 and she remembered him telling her he was aged 35.
She told the jury that he had told her not to worry about getting pregnant as he had been sterilised, which is correct.
Although she told school friends about what had happened at various points of her childhood they were never sure what the truth was, the court heard.
The court was told that the abuse continued until she got a boyfriend, when she was about 14 years old.
Widower Mullis, who denied any sexual activity, said he recalled the child saying she was 'clingy' and always following him around.
His daughter, Karen Chamberlain, said she always thought the woman accusing her father was a 'silly little girl'.
Lorna Barnett, a friend of Mullis' late wife, told the court when she was asked to give character evidence she knew who the complainant would be as she never liked or trusted her when she saw her a child.
Mullis pleaded not guilty to rape and indecent assault of a girl under 16. He has been released on bail to Friday November 8.