Horley councillor David Jackson accused of child sex offences described as 'supportive and loyal friend' by ex-colleague

Horley councillor David Jackson accused of child sex offences described as ‘supportive and loyal friend’ by ex-colleague

A Horley councillor accused of child sex crimes cried briefly in the dock as he denied all six allegations against him at Guildford Crown Court.

David Jackson gave evidence on Thursday (March 8) before a character reference was read out in court.

Jackson, formerly of Newlands Close in Horley, denies all charges – which include two counts of sexual assault on a girl aged eight or under and another two counts of sexual assault on a girl aged 11 or under.

He also denies two charges of indecent assault on a girl aged five or under.

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Giving evidence in front of recorder Stuart Trimmer, the 57-year-old admitted having “a short temper” but denied hitting either complainant.

Jackson, wearing a navy blue blazer and dark jeans, denied having intentionally touch the girls’ vaginas but admitted he could have “brushed against them unintentionally”.

Davd Jackson

Jackson is a serving Reigate and Banstead borough councillor for Horley West and a current Horley Town councillor.

He is a former deputy mayor of Horley Town Council and has lived in the town for 29 years.

Jackson was charged by police on July 31, 2015 but gave a no comment interview to officers.

In court he said he did this on the advice of his solicitor and because he was “surprised”.

He said: “I found it tough with the questions they were asking me. I went to answer one and my solicitor reminded me to make no comment.

“I had agreed to go to the police station at 10 o’clock because they wanted to ask me some questions. So I was a bit surprised when they knocked on my door”.

The court heard Reigate-born Mr Jackson, previously pleaded guilty to theft from a vehicle at Bexley Magistrates on November 23, 1979 and attempted theft from a vehicle at Reigate Magistrates on April 30, 1984, both during a period he was working as a nightclub doorman.

Horley Town Council buildings

When asked by his counsel Rupert Hallowes why he pleaded guilty to both he said: “Yes I pleaded guilty to both because I committed the offences.”

A former colleague, Rakshana Horwood of Horley, with whom Mr Jackson lived for a month, gave a character reference that was read out in court.

It said: “David has been a personal friend for 20 years. He was an extremely valued member of the team who was well liked not just with us but with those in other teams.

“He is dependable and reliable. He was loyal to [the company] right to the very end of his career. What sticks in my mind is that he always went above and beyond, even if it was the crack of dawn he’d turn up early.

“As a friend he is supportive and loyal. He has been there for my family at times of crisis.”

The trial continues.

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Article courtesy of Get Surrey