A TEENAGER was left with numerous and repeated nightmares after allegedly being sexually abused, a court has been told.

Sean James Edgar, from Winklebury, has denied touching the girl.

It is claimed that Mr Edgar woke the girl after touching her vagina and upper leg.

He is currently standing trial at Salisbury Crown Court, which started on Tuesday.

The court was told how the 44-year-old’s actions led to the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, feeling “scared and confused” and eventually attempting to take her own life.

It had taken her several months to gain the confidence to speak to anyone about what had happened or report it to the police.

“It’s really hard to keep a secret for that long, especially when it is that important,” she said in a police interview shown to the court this morning.

Adding to her evidence, she referred to her nightmares, saying: “Most of the time it is the same. I believe that they’re real.

“I was just acting like nothing had happened. I was trying to forget it for so long.”

Defending Mr Edgar, Adrienne Knight asked whether the alleged incident had actually been a nightmare.

She continued to ask about inconsistencies in the complainant’s police statement, such as not being sure when the incident happened and how long it lasted.

“When you initially tell police what happened, you say it was about ten minutes,” Miss Knight said. “A bit later on you revise what you say to ‘5, 10 minutes, I can’t really remember’.”

The complainant replied: “I was never really sure it was ten [minutes]. I didn’t want to sound like I was lying by saying I don’t remember, I’m not good with times and dates.”

She added that she had not made up the accusation for sympathy or attention.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Tim Moores had said earlier: “This is a case, far from unusually, where a person who says they have been a victim of sexual assault has not immediately come forward.

“The report from police has come later in the day, so it is a historic complaint. Some people report things immediately, some people do not.”

Addressing the jury, he continued: “Issues of consent do not arise in this case. The issue for you is: did it happen?

“Mr Edgar says it didn’t, [the complainant] says it did and has formally reported it to the police.”

The trial continues. Mr Edgar denies the charge.