Former Olympic showjumping coach 'raped and sexually abused teenage girl', court told

Winchester Crown court.
Winchester Crown court.

John Sillett, who trained riders for the 2016 Rio Olympics, faces five counts of rape, five of assault by penetration and two of sexual assault.

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Former Olympic showjumping coach, John Sillett, raped and sexually abused a teenage girl over a seven-year period, a court has heard.

The 55-year-old, who trained riders for the 2016 Rio Olympics, faces five counts of rape, five of assault by penetration and two of sexual assault.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that the alleged assaults against the same girl started when the alleged victim was aged between 12 and 13.

The alleged attacks began with the 55-year-old, of Bunglers Hill, Farley Hill, Wokingham, Berkshire, groping the girl before he raped and sexually assaulted her on several other occasions, Ms Maylin said.

She said that after the first alleged assault, the alleged victim confronted Sillett.

Ms Maylin said: “His response to that little girl was ‘I am sorry, do not tell anyone’. She didn’t and life moved on.”

In a video interview with the alleged victim shown to the court, she said: “I was so scared, I didn’t want to move, I didn’t know what to do.”

The prosecutor said that on another occasion: “Mr Sillett started to touch her, he took off her dressing gown, he touched her chest.

“He told her: ‘You know what you want, you know you want this’.

“She said: ‘No’ and ‘Why are you doing this to me?’

“He took off his own underwear and then he raped her. No protection was used.”

The alleged victim said in the video interview: “He just started touching me, I was so confused at what was going on, ‘Why are you doing this to me, what have I done that you think you can do this to me?’

“He just took it further.”

The defendant, who was based at the Wellington Riding Centre on the Duke of Wellington’s estate in Hook, Hampshire, denies the charges and the trial continues.