Alleged attacker tells court he signed contract that permitted punishment

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A MAN has denied assaulting a teenage girl despite being caught on CCTV hitting her – claiming that they had signed a contract that allowed him to ‘punish’ her.

Shay John Edward Bester is accused of luring the girl to the Island from the UK, before assaulting and raping her in November 2021.

The 47-year-old, who yesterday gave evidence during the third day of his Royal Court trial, denies one count of trafficking, two counts of rape, three counts of assault and one of sexual penetration without consent.

Mr Bester told the court that he and the teenager had signed an agreement with a set of rules as part of a dominant and submissive relationship.

Advocate Ian Jones, defending, read out that agreement which stated that if the alleged victim ‘misbehaves’, then Mr Bester could ‘punish’ her in ‘anyway he sees fit’.

Mr Bester also said that he and the alleged victim had agreed safe words and physical signals, which could be used when the girl no longer gave consent.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Mr Bester and the alleged victim entering a car park on 28 November 2021.

Advocate Jones said: ‘It looks like you raise your hand and hit her.’

In response, Mr Bester said: ‘No, it wasn’t assault – she was breaking her rules again. She carried on breaking her rules; she was swearing and calling me names. She was trying to push back.

‘I hit her, yes, [but] I deny committing assault.

‘I tapped her on the back of the head. I didn’t break the rules.’

Mr Bester also denied sexually assaulting the girl in public toilets hours before the alleged assault in a St Helier car park.

In addition, Mr Bester refuted allegations that he had forced the girl to perform a sex act on him – stating that she had been ‘initially happy’ and could have withdrawn consent at any time. In court earlier this week, the jury was shown police body-worn-camera footage of the moment the girl was reunited with her mother.

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

The trial continues.

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