A WIRRAL gym coach has gone on trial accused of sexual assault.
Jeff Rimmer, 46, the founder of Wallasey Gymnastics Club, faced Liverpool Crown Court this week charged with two counts of sexual assault – one against a girl and the other against a young boy.
Rimmer, of Westbourne Road, Wallasey, denies the charges.
Gerald Baxter, prosecuting, told the jury of seven men and five women that the allegations were made against the coach at the Rake Lane-based club by two youngsters.
The first allegation was made to police in March 2010. It came to light, Mr Baxter said, during a meeting with the club’s welfare officer.
Mr Baxter said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told how she and Rimmer had been alone in the gym when he got her to lie down on a crash mat.
She told police while she lay on her front Rimmer, a dad-of-one, sat astride her and began to massage her shoulders.
The girl alleges he undid a fastener on her leotard and slipped his hand inside, massaging her under her clothes.
Then, Mr Baxter said, the girl claims Rimmer began to question her about sex.
During her statement to officers, she said: “He said ‘I will make you a deal’. I will make you an offer’.
“A tenner for a flash of your boobs and 20 if you let me have a juggle.”
Her claim came to light some time after the incident was alleged to have happened.
Rimmer was arrested and denied ever acting inappropriately with the girl.
He said she and her friends were jealous of his daughter, Stephanie, who was a “very successful” gymnast, the court heard.
Mr Baxter said the second allegation came to light as a result of news of Rimmer’s arrest making the front page of a newspaper.
In July last year, the young boy making the allegation, who also cannot be named, went to his mum in tears and told her that Rimmer had touched him around his groin.
The boy said during a time he and Rimmer were alone the coach touched him and then told him not to tell anyone.
In part of his police interviewt, the boy said: “He told me I can’t tell anyone because he knows where I live and I didn’t until it was on the counter on the front page and he has obviously done it to someone else.
“I thought it was time for me to say it.”
Mr Baxter said Rimmer was arrested a second time and interviewed.
He completely denied ever touching any child.
Mr Baxter said: “He said he couldn’t understand why he was making a vindictive accusation against him.”
It was the jury’s job now, Mr Baxter said, to decide if the two complainants were telling the truth.
He said: “Are you sure they are telling the truth?
“Or has [the girl] made false accusations because of jealously or something else and [the boy] jumped on the bandwagon and made an accusation against a wholly innocent man?”
The case continues.