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East Lancashire man denies raping schoolgirls in ’80s
TWO Haslingden schoolgirls were allegedly raped by a man who carried out a string of indecency offences against them, a jury was told.
John Darbyshire, now 76, was said to have sexually abused the two girls more than 40 years ago but neither of them told anybody what he had been doing to them.
One of the alleged victims, who was to tell police Darbyshire’s alleged actions had made her feel sick, later suffered depression and had counselling.
The other blamed herself for what happened, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Darbyshire, now of Abraham Street, Blackburn, denies four charges of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and four allegations of indecency with a child.
Some of the allegations are specimen counts.
Louise Whaites, prosecuting, said the first alleged victim was shocked when the defendant touched her and committed an indecent act but she did not tell anybody at the time.
The prosecutor said: “No doubt she was feeling very confused about what had happened, somewhat perplexed and unsure about the way to handle that situation.”
Miss Whaites said that Darbyshire allegedly performed sex acts on the girl, she was expected to do the same to him to him and it made her feel sick.
She said: “Over the years, she struggled to cope with what had happened to her.
“When she was an adult, she went to her GP, suffering depression and she sought to obtain counselling.
“Over that time, she made disclosures to a number of people about what had happened.”
Miss Whaites said it was not until the second alleged victim complained about the defendant that the first alleged victim became involved with the investigating team.
The second alleged victim made a complaint on May 20 last year and told police the defendant might also have abused someone else.
The prosecutor said: “Inquiries were made to trace the complainant and, once found, she provided an account of what had happened to her and the abuse she suffered as a child.”
The prosecutor claimed Darbyshire stopped offending against the second alleged victim when she moved from the Haslingden area.