A WOMAN who has accused the former owner of petting farm of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager has strenuously denied making up the allegations.

Jurors heard how Mark Hebdon is alleged to have carried out two sex acts on the-then teenager in gazebo-style building at Monk Park Farm, near Thirsk, more than 15 years ago.

The 54-year-old is on trial at Teesside Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting three young girls over a 15-year period up until 2020.

During a videoed police interview in May 2020, the woman said the sexual assault only came to an end when her mother arrived and called out her name, which ‘put him off’ and she managed to get away from him.

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Under cross examination from defence barrister, Tania Griffiths QC, the woman denied making up the allegations or colluding with another of the complainants before speaking to the police.

Miss Griffiths took the witness through a number of messages shared between the pair but she denied that she knew the other complainant ‘well’ and only knew her through a friend of a friend.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she would have come forward again in 2020 without being told by police that there was another alleged victim maintaining she was ‘older and wiser’.

When asked why she didn’t do it by herself before being asked by the police, the witness replied: “Because I was scared, I didn’t have anybody behind me and didn’t know what to do.”

Ending her cross-examination, the barrister said: "What you have told the jury is a pack of lies from start to finish." The woman replied: "No it is not."

Another complainant had said the defendant had abused her between November 2018 and November 2019.

She said Hebdon had urged her to throw away her mobile phone if she was approached by the police after he had lost his in a pond at the farm when he was trying to rescue a duck.

Earlier in the trial, jurors had heard how the alleged victim had been interviewed by police in 2012 when she first made a complaint about Hebdon but the investigation went no further at the time.

A third alleged victim made a complaint to police in 2012 saying that Hebdon intentionally touched her in a sexual manner on three occasions.

Hebdon, of John Street, Great Ayton, near Stokesley, denies nine charges, including sexual activity with a child and sexual touching of a child.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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