Court hears boy ‘met Exmouth sex assault accused at public toilets’

A court has heard how a man who alleges he was sexually assaulted as a child by former Exmouth mayor John Humphreys told police he orchestrated further meetings by waiting at public loos.

Humphreys, aged 59, of Hartley Road, is on trial at Exeter Crown Court accused of historic sex offences against two underage boys.

He denies ten charges against him, alleged to have taken place between 1990 and 2002.

The court has heard Humphreys denied ever having any sexual activity with either of the boys.

In a police interview shown to the court on Tuesday (August 10), the first complainant – now an adult – told officers he met Humphreys cottaging in toilets in Exmouth – a term referring to anonymous sex between men in public loos.

He admitted he returned and waited for the defendant on two other occasions after the first meet-up, telling police: “Part of me wanted it to happen because some parts of it were pleasurable.”

Humphreys has denied two charges of indecent assault and three counts of a sex assault on a boy aged 12 to 13 between 1990 and 1991.

He has also pleaded not guilty to five further counts of indecent assault of a second boy aged 14 to 15 between 1999 and 2002.

The complainant told police he was a ‘sensible child’ under the age of 14 when he met Humphreys in a public loo, and allowed himself to be driven to the defendant’s home for sex.

He said: “I don’ remember ever thinking I was in danger because I would have run.”

He said he had no previous sexual experience other than kissing girls and the defendant took his virginity.

The court heard the male tell police he was ‘shocked’ when Humphreys started undressing, talking about the size of his ‘manhood’, realising ‘this is what’s coming next for me’.

He told an officer: “He was doing stuff to me. Some of it did feel nice.”

He said he pushed his fingers into Humphreys’ thighs when he felt pain.

The man told police he went back to the public loo to wait for Humphreys to ‘understand’ what had happened, saying it was ‘easy’ to arrange meetings with the defendant.

He said: “My parents weren’t there. They didn’t talk about any of that type of stuff so I went there to understand.

“Looking back, I understand how stupid I was because it was the perfect example of grooming.”

He told police he believed the trio of sexual encounters meant he was in a relationship with the defendant.

The man said he ‘would go to the toilet’ to initiate future contact with Humphreys.

“I think I was under the illusion I was in a relationship by the second or third meeting,” he said.

The court heard the third time the boy allegedly had sex with Humphreys was in a stone building on Woodbury Common, which he likened to ‘rape’ saying the defendant was impatient.

He told police he feared he would not come home from the common, thinking ‘my god, he’s got a gardening spade in the back of his van’.

He said he had to ‘get rid of everything’ because his clothes were soiled, with the smell staying with him ‘for months’.

The man told police: “He wasn’t nice at all. The way he pushed me up against the wall, there was no patience, there was no take your time.

“This was what you would call rape. I was in pain and he damn well knew I was saying I was hurting.”

The man told police the encounters left him feeling felt ‘anger’ towards Humphreys, and he would wait to the side of his apartment with a brick, rock, and sometimes a knife.

In his video police statement played to the jury, he said he telephoned Humphreys’ home after seeing his number displayed on his work van.

He told police he researched Humphreys on the internet in latter years and ‘got scared’ when he found out he was a councillor.

“He was an important person, I remember thinking somehow Exmouth police shouldn’t be investigating this,” he said.

He said he reported Humphreys to the police because he ‘had 25 years of not sleeping’.

The trial continues…

Former Mayor of Exmouth John Humphreys denies historic sex assaults on two boys, as trial begins

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