Vicar, 58, denies sexually abusing girl under 11
One vicar admitted exposing himself to a five-year-old girl, rolling a pen over her private parts as she watched and asking another to squeeze her nipples “hard”, but denied there was any sexual intent involved, a court heard today.
Reverend Veronica Green, 58, faces five counts of indecent assault with a child and one charge of indecent assault related to alleged historical incidents against two girls aged five to 11 at the time.
They were said to have taken place while she was babysitting them as Green was growing up as a teenager in North Staffordshire.
Testifying on the third day of her trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, Green admitted that some incidents had taken place but that there was nothing sexual involved and she was unaware at the time. time that they were against the law.
Green, who denies the charges, told the jury: “I never assumed what happened was wrong until I became an adult. The things that I admitted were never done with the intention of hurting or harming girls. These are things that happened very naturally when I think back to the process of my change.
Veronica Green (pictured), 58, is charged with six offenses against two young girls, dating back over 40 years, when she was a teenager living in North Staffordshire
“Neither the girls nor I thought that a lot of things went wrong. This is what I felt until my last years. I never considered what we did to be too serious.
Green, the Reverend of Marbury, Tushingham and Whitewell in Cheshire, was suspended by the Diocese of Chester in January 2020 after the allegations were reported to police.
Green recalled that on one occasion, when she was 13 and babysitting the five-year-old, she exposed her breasts and crotch to him after taking a bath.
She added, “I remember sitting there on the bed, opening my dress in front of her and exposing that part of my body, the front part of my body.”
When Mr. Lawrence asked her why she did this, Green replied, “I don’t know why I did what I did. What I did that night I have no idea. explanation.
“As a 58 year old woman, I cannot get into the head of the 13 year old girl I was then.”
Green further admitted that after exposing herself, she took a felt-tip pen and rolled it over her vagina about three or four times as the five-year-old stood in front of her.
She revealed, “My legs were open and I was rolling it (the pen) over the lower part (of my genitals).”
Mr. Lawrence alleged: “What you were doing was clearly sexual, wasn’t it?”
Green replied, “I was aware of the sexual reproductive organs, but I don’t think that at that age and that time I could associate what I was doing with a sexual feeling.”
Green (pictured) further admitted that after exposing herself, she took a felt-tip pen and rolled it over her vagina about three or four times as the five-year-old stood in front of her
When asked if she thought it was sexual now, as an adult, she replied, “No, it wasn’t sexual because I didn’t feel anything sexual. I literally didn’t know what I was doing.
She admitted in court that she asked one of the girls, who was eight years old at the time, to squeeze her nipples “as hard as she could” three times, which she said. described as “experimental” but admitted that she “liked”.
Mr Lawrence claimed it was done for sexual reasons, but Green said: ‘We didn’t know we were doing anything wrong at the time.
“I had no idea what I was doing. It was an act of discovering my body. I knew I was asking him to touch me in a particular place. I wanted her to do it because it gave me feelings that I now recognize as sexual.
“I can look back now and say it was a sexual experience, but not at this age.”
Mr Lawrence told the jury that Green was involved in a number of other incidents with the two girls, particularly the younger one, who was five or six years old at the time.
This included urging her to join her in bed while she was having sex with a boy while she was babysitting; ask her to perform a sexual act on her and perform sexual acts on herself while she is watching her.
Green fumed in court that the charges had ruined his life and had been brought due to the current culture of “name and humiliate”.
She said: “Today we live in a culture of name, blame and shame. I think it is heavily tilted to one side. The interest of the press in this affair is a perfect example.
The court heard that Green spoke to senior members of the diocese, including Archdeacon of Chester Michael Gilbertson after being questioned by police.
Mr Lawrence claimed that Green had always feared that the “gravity” of what she had done would someday catch up with her.
When asked when she realized this could happen, Green replied, “Especially during my training as a minister and the safeguarding issues that have come up. And the huge change in our culture of the child abuse we hear about all the time.
“All of this made me worried and anxious about something I did when I was young.”
When questioned by his lawyer, Kate Blackwell, Green denied having committed a sexual act on the young girl. When Mrs. Blackwell said, “Did you ask him to touch you in a sexual way?” Green said she didn’t.
When asked by Mrs. Blackwell if she had put her breasts in the youngster’s mouth, Green replied that she hadn’t.
Green said: “I remember when we were sitting on a couch and I asked him to scratch my back. My sister and I shared a room on the farm. She was asking me to scratch her back, which I did. I would say ‘it’s my turn now?’
Ms Blackwell asked if it went any further than that with the alleged victim, to which Green said no.
Green added: “The second time around I remember asking if she would do her back to me and she said ‘yes sure’. I lay by the fire on my stomach. She was either sitting on my butt, be next to me.
“I unhooked my little bra the second time around. I asked him to go to the sides of my back.
Mrs. Blackwell asked: “Did she do that?”
Green, who is the Reverend of Marbury, Tushingham and Whitewell in Cheshire, said: “Yes. His hands moved lower. I remember feeling uncomfortable about it. I didn’t stop her from doing it. Pictured is St Michael’s Church in Marbury, Cheshire
“Yes,” Green replied.
Mrs. Blackwell then asked, “Did anything else happen?”
Green, who is the Reverend of Marbury, Tushingham and Whitewell in Cheshire, said: “Yes. His hands moved lower. I remember feeling uncomfortable about it. I didn’t stop her from doing it.
“The second time she touched me, I started to feel something and I didn’t stop her. The third time, I wanted her to touch me but I didn’t ask her to touch me.
Mrs. Blackwell asked Green, “Did you say something about your nipples?”
Green replied, “Yes. “
‘What was said?’ Mrs. Blackwell asked.
Green replied, “She did my back and started to pull down my clothes and cup my breasts.” Mrs. Blackwell told him that the girl “said you said you could do it a little harder?”
Green replied, “Yes. “
Green, of Marbury, denies all five counts of indecent assault with a child and one charge of indecent assault.
She was suspended by the Diocese of Chester in January 2020 after the allegations were reported to police, the jury was told.
The prosecution told the jury that Green told one of the girls that she “had something to teach him.”
Prosecutor Ben Lawrence said Green told her “a man would normally teach it to girls, but (the girl’s mother) said she wanted (Green) to teach it.”
The court heard that on another occasion, Green told one of the girls to have sex on her.
One of the victims reported the alleged abuse to police in January 2020.
When police spoke to the second child – now an adult – they alleged that she too had been abused by Green, the court said.
The court heard that she told senior members of the diocese, including Archdeacon of Chester Michael Gilbertson, that something had happened.
Testifying on the third day of her trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court (pictured), Green admitted that some incidents had taken place but that there was nothing sexual and that she was not aware at the time that they were against the law.
Mr Lawrence added: “The accused said something happened when she was a teenager.
“She hadn’t realized the gravity of what she had done at the time but had always thought it might catch up with her.”
Green was questioned by police twice and replied “No comment” to questions put to her, the court was told.
She would have accepted that there had been an incident where she was naked and one of the girls felt uncomfortable, and others where the second girl touched her breasts.
The court heard, however, that while Green admitted that what she was feeling was sexual, she hadn’t realized that was the case at the time.
Mr Lawrence added: “The prosecution said the accused was dishonest about what had happened.
“The accused has become a very different person. She continued to lead an impeccable life as an adult. She has a good character and has undoubtedly done good to others.
He told the jury: “You are judging the actions of her teenage years and the way she behaved back then.”
The trial continues.