Jurors view the reunion of alleged victim with family

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POLICE body-worn camera footage showing the moment an alleged victim of trafficking and sexual exploitation was reunited with a family member was played to jurors in the Royal Court yesterday.

Shay John Edward Bester (47) is accused of grooming the ‘vulnerable’ UK teenager online before luring her to Jersey and raping her. He denies one count of trafficking, two counts of rape, three of assault and one of sexual penetration without consent.

Yesterday jurors were told that PCs Laura Kerr and Dave Rudman attended Mr Bester’s flat, where the alleged victim was staying on 28 November 2021, and initially arrested him on suspicion of common assault.

Giving evidence, PC Kerr said: ‘She [the alleged victim] broke down on the stairs. She was tearful and sobbing into her mother’s arms.

‘[The alleged victim] didn’t seem to be forthcoming with evidence inside the flat. She was quiet. Her body language was closed.’

The footage showed the teenager in a distressed state, crying and then hugging her mother as she left the property.

PC Kerr added: ‘When we moved downstairs [out of the flat], she was quite talkative and emotional.’

A short time later she made a complaint of sexual assault against Mr Bester, jurors heard.

PC Kerr said that the mother of the alleged victim told her to ‘get your stuff’, adding that Mr Bester was ‘not a safe person’. The court heard that the police officers attending the incident believed that at the time Mr Bester was ‘intoxicated’ and was repeating himself.

PC Kerr added that the flat was untidy, with open bags of rubbish on display.

Giving evidence yesterday afternoon, Mr Bester claimed that he was in a relationship with the alleged victim, which included performing roles of submission and dominance.

He said that they met in a group online chat in May 2021 that was designed for individuals with sexual fetishes, before messaging each other privately and then eventually messaging on WhatsApp.

When the alleged victim visited Jersey, Mr Bester said, he was ‘helping her’ with personal issues.

The trial continues.

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