The husband of a woman, who claims to have been abused throughout her teenage years by agricultural engineer Robert Hayes-Danson, has spoken about the night his wife first told him about the alleged abuse.
Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he had never seen his wife as upset as she was when she came home from a girls’ night out.
When the woman calmed down a bit she told her husband she had been abused by Danson years ago, from the age of 12.
He said: “I knew something was wrong. I knew she’d had a drink but I knew it wasn’t just drink and an argument. I said, ‘You are going to have to tell me what is going on. This isn’t normal behaviour.’ I’ve never seen her like that before.
“We sat and then she said ‘It’s that Bob’s fault.’
“My initial thought was how could it be Bob’s fault when she had been on a girls’ night out?
“She started crying and said that Bob had abused her.
“I didn’t do anything for a minute or two. I didn’t know quite what to take in. I didn’t know what to say or what to do.”
The man told the court: “She just said as far as she was concerned, she was Bob’s girlfriend and she thought she was his girlfriend. She was always fearful of his wife finding out.
“I didn’t say anything for a while. She sat and she cried and I said ‘I’m going to stand by you whatever you decide to do about this. You have to do what’s right for you.’”
However, the man said his wife did not take her complaint any further in the weeks that followed.
He said: “She was frightened people wouldn’t believe her. She was frightened of what people would say.”
Danson, 46, of Birch Avenue, Newton-with-Scales, denies nine counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child relating to the woman, and two further charges of indecent assault relating to two other women when they were 12 or 13 years old.