Man accused of abuse in Great Yarmouth seen as a ‘father figure’

A man accused of sexually abusing youngsters after luring them to his home in Great Yarmouth was initially seen as a 'father figure' by one of the alleged victims, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Anthony Hallam, who lives in Nottingham, is on trial for five indecent assaults and another serious sexual offence involving three young boys while at his house in Byron Road, Yarmouth, during a period in the 1980s. He has pleaded not guilty.

Yesterday, on the first day of the trial, the jury heard one of the alleged victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claim that a programme on Radio Two prompted him to break a silence that had lasted more than three decades.

The man, aged in his 30s, said the alleged event had 'affected my whole life' and led to the split with his first wife, as well as problems with sleeping and severe mood swings.

He added he thought no one would believe him, and said it was only after hearing the programme, involving a film director who he said had gone through something similar, that he went to the police last June.

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The court heard that when the man first reported the alleged abuse, he had no idea it would prompt two others – his younger brother and close friend to step forward with their own stories of mistreatment.

Jonathan Seely, prosecuting, explained how the alleged incidents took place between January 1983 and December 1986. He said that the older brother had befriended Hallam, a coach driver at the time, while he took him to a summer camp in 1983, with the pair becoming closer until the first alleged incident at around the time of bonfire night that year.

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This was then followed by a series of increasingly serious sexual assaults, the court heard. Of this period, the alleged victim said that he had not had a father figure, something that Hallam, 59, represented.

He said: 'I would feel dirty and ashamed and upset. I would lay there for hours and cry myself to sleep. I just wanted everything else to stop and him to be a father figure to me.'

Defending, Justin Wigoder questioned the victim's police statement, pointing to the fact that he had met Hallam in the years following. He said in one of these occasions they had shared a cigarette and a chat, something he labelled 'totally inconceivable' were the allegations true. The trial continues.

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