John Sillett: Former Olympic showjumping coach sexually abused teenage girl over seven-year period, court told

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

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

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

Warning: This article contains details of an alleged sexual assault of a child.

The alleged assaults started when the complainant was aged between 12 and 13, Winchester Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said Sillett, 55, started by groping the girl before he raped and sexually assaulted her on several other occasions.

Ms Maylin said the girl confronted him after the first alleged assault.

The prosecutor 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 in 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, Sillett, of Farley Hill, Wokingham, in Berkshire, took off her dressing gown and touched her chest.

Ms Maylin said: “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.”

The trial continues.

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