Woman tells court she was abused as young child

By Melissa Nightingale

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A woman claiming she was raped as a child told a Whanganui court she felt like she was "in a routine" of being regularly sexually abused.

The woman was giving evidence in Whanganui District Court yesterday in the trial of Peter Robert Doyle, who faces 44 sexual abuse charges against three complainants.

The allegations include rape and indecent assault, with offending allegedly beginning when the complainants were aged about 9 or 10, between 1999 and 2014.

Doyle, 51, has denied the charges.

"It felt like I was in a routine . . . with him touching me and everything like that," the woman said in her police interview video, which was shown to the jury.

"I know this is going to sound wrong: it was like I was expecting him to walk in and do it."

The woman described crying herself to sleep every night as a child and contemplating suicide.

"I was thinking at the time that if I killed myself I wouldn't have to worry about any of it. I thought that it was the easy way out."

Her comments are similar to those of another complainant, who told police she thought about killing herself and Doyle.

Yesterday's complainant said her "guts dropped" one day when Doyle allegedly commented to her that "it felt like it was two puppies sick in love".

"Who the hell would want to fall in love with a thing like that?"

The woman told Crown prosecutor Harry Mallalieu about how she had originally made her allegations to police in 2005, but was "confused". When Mr Mallalieu asked what the confusion was around, she replied: "Knowing that it happened".

She later explained to defence lawyer Jamie Waugh the confusion had been around the order of events, but that she had the key points correct in the interview. "The only reason I told two stories and couldn't keep it straight was because I was messed up in the head," she said.

The woman said she first told a caregiver about the alleged abuse when she was about 13, by saying "I think I might have been raped".

Mr Waugh said the caregiver told police in a statement the complainant had said she was in a "deep sleep" and woke without her pants on, so assumed Doyle had raped her. The woman told Mr Waugh she couldn't remember the conversation with the caregiver. Mr Waugh said Doyle would tell the court he was not present for much of the time the complainant said she was being abused.

"Well, my story is the truth," she said.

The trial continues before Judge Thomas Ingram.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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