Man charged with sexually abusing girls

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

  • A teenager has been telling a court how she was sexually assaulted in a multi-storey carpark
  • The youngster is one of two women who claim to have been abused by James Peach, 57
  • Peach denies seven counts of indecent assault
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A teenager has been telling a court how she was sexually assaulted in a multi-storey carpark in Preston more than a decade ago.

The youngster is one of two women who claim to have been abused by James Peach, 57, when they were still in primary school.

He’s messed up. He needs help

Peach denies seven counts of indecent assault and sat in the dock shaking his head as the young woman described her alleged ordeal on a shopping trip into the city.

In a recorded police interview, screened at Preston Crown Court, the teenager - who can not be identified for legal reasons - said she had now come forward out of concern for other children.

She said: “He’s messed up. He needs help.”

The youngster told the interviewing officer Peach had given her and her mum a lift into Preston so her mum could go shopping.

They parked in a multi-storey carpark and Peach remained in the car with the girl while her mum went to the shops.

She said: “We’d been having a laugh and he said, ‘Do you want to learn to drive?’

“I climbed over and sat on his lap and held the steering wheel and he was showing me the gears and saying ‘this is what you do’.”

But the teenager said while she was sitting on Peach’s knee he put his hand underneath her clothes and assaulted her.

She said: “When my mum got back he quickly rushed and told me ‘get back in the back into your own seat.’

“He acted like nothing had happened but my mum and him argued because he had got quite flustered.

“They had a big row over something he said.”

After the alleged incident the girl said Peach drove her and her mum back to her mum’s house and dropped them off.

The alleged assault makes up two of the charges denied by Peach, of Town Lane, Charnock Richard.

The other five relate to another woman who is expected to give evidence later in the trial.

(Proceeding)