A mother demanded that a wealthy businessman who had allegedly sexually abused her two daughters should give each ?100,000 in compensation, a court was told yesterday.
The offences were said to have begun more than 25 years ago, when one girl was 12 and the other in her early teens, and to have continued for almost 10 years.
But the mother learned of the alleged abuse only in August 2003, a jury at Reading crown court was told. She did not go to the police to report the offences but made the request for cash instead, later reducing her demand to ?50,000 for each daughter when Geoffrey Taylor, 63, refused to pay up. The court heard he said he would "see the family in court".
Mr Taylor, of Finchampstead, Berkshire, denies 10 counts of indecent assault, all alleged to have taken place between December 31 1979 and February 17 1989. John Denniss, prosecuting, said the offences had been committed at the home of Mr Taylor, who ran a number of computer companies. "The prosecution says that this case concerns the repeated and regular sexual abuse by the defendant of two children," he said. "He had a very regular pattern of behaviour."
The abuse came to light in the 1990s when one of the girls split up with a boyfriend who gave details when interviewed by police about alleged domestic violence. No action was taken against Mr Taylor, who was not arrested until 2004 when the one of the daughters, now both in their 30s, finally went to the police.
"In interview he denied all the allegations," Mr Denniss said. "He suggested that the only reason they could have been made was because of a conspiracy between those making the complaints against him." Andrew Campbell-Tiech, defending, said while cross-examining the mother: "He said he would not be blackmailed. He said he would see you all in court, didn't he?"
"That's not what he said," said the mother. "He never said 'blackmailed'." Her younger daughter wept as she denied making up the allegations. "I couldn't let my daughter go through what I went through," she said. "She is the only reason why I would stand in court like this. I wouldn't have put my family through all this otherwise.
A former boyfriend said the daughter had told him of the abuse during a holiday in Turkey in 1996: "We were talking about children and she confessed to me she had been sexually abused as a child. She didn't go into intimate details ... It all came as a shock." The trial continues.