Alleged rape victim tried to blackmail defendant, a court hears

Bournemouth Echo: ACCUSED: David Bryant ACCUSED: David Bryant

AN alleged rape victim accused a retired firefighter of the crime in an attempt to blackmail him, a court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was said to have accused 63-year-old David Bryant of raping him at Christchurch Fire Station for his own financial gain.

The alleged incident from the 1970s is also said to have involved another firefighter, Dennis Goodman, now deceased.

Cross-examining the victim – now in his 50s – during the trial at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday, Fern Russell, for the defence, read from a note he had sent to the defendant last year before going to the police, in which he gave his phone number and said: “I think it is in your interest to call, one way or another you will pay for what you have done.”

“Did you think it was possible to make a complaint and then call the shots as to whether that complaint was proceeded with,” she said.

“Your plan was to give Mr Bryant your phone number, make the complaint and then drop the charges if he paid you.”

He denied this, saying: “I was hoping he would find me and say sorry.”

He confirmed that he had £20,000 worth of materials stolen from a property he owns, but said he was financially solvent and able to “buy” the defendant “ten times over”.

Bryant, of Grove Road East, Christchurch, was also called to the witness stand.

Prosecutor Rob Griffiths asked if he had ever had any argument with the alleged victim which would explain why he might want to blackmail him.

Bryant said no, that he had no recollection of taking the man to the fire station, and that he was shocked by the note as he had no idea what it was about.

Mr Griffiths said: “On three occasions you and Dennis Goodman invited him back to the fire station, and on the final occasion the two of you ended up having sex with him in the way he described.

“His note didn’t come as any great surprise to you, knowing what happened all those years ago.”

Bryant denies one count of buggery on a boy aged between 12 and 15. The trial continues.

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