Ex-Rotherham mayor on trial for assaulting girl of 13

Former Rotherham mayor Barry Dodson at Sheffield Magistrates court
Former Rotherham mayor Barry Dodson at Sheffield Magistrates court
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THE alleged victim of an indecent assault by a former Rotherham mayor has told a court how she came forward to police when she realised her perpetrator had become a public figure in a town marred by child abuse scandals.

Barry Dodson, now 67, has been accused of incidentally assaulting the woman in 1987, when she was 13.

I couldn’t let him do to another child what he has done to me.

Alleged victim

The trial at Sheffield Crown Court, heard Mr Dodson, of Cranworth Road, East Dene, had asked his victim if she wanted to earn some extra pocket money and help him with some wedding videos.

In his opening statement, prosector Richard Butters told the court how the pair had then travelled up to Boston Castle in Rotherham where the alleged assault took place.

He said: “Mr Dodson told the victim how they needed to go up to Boston Castle to look at the wedding video job.

“They were sitting on the banking of the castle and he sat her on his knee before he put his hand up her skirt.

“Mr Dodson then remarked how she didn’t seem to like that and she said no and it was then that he stopped what he was doing.

“He then asked the victim to kiss him and she said no.

“They then got up and he told her she wasn’t allowed to tell anybody because nobody would believe her and he would get into a lot of trouble.”

The court heard how Mr Dodson had gone to the victim’s house on a number of occasions a few days after the event and had banged on the door but she didn’t answer and hid until he was gone.

The victim confided in only two people in the years after the incident but when she saw that Mr Dodson had become the Mayor of Rotherham she realised she had to tell the police what had happened.

In evidence shown to the court via video link, the victim said: “As the Mayor I thought he would go into schools and nurseries and playgroups. He would be standing close to children.

“I couldn’t let him do to another child what he has done to me.”

The prosecutor told the court how the victim had emailed Mr Dodson to tell him she was going to tell the police before she did.

Reading out the email from the victim to Mr Dodson, Mr Butters said: “So your life gets better and better while mine gets worse.

“I think it’s about time people know what type of man you are.

“What you did to me has haunted me since I was 13.

“In order for me to move on I need to put this ghost to rest. I realise what you did to me was wrong.

“You are now the Mayor of Rotherham and that involves being around children and makes me wonder how many children you have done this too.

“No doubt once I have come forward others will follow.

“Why should you have a great life?”

The victim also described how she felt scared of Mr Dodson when she saw him after the assault and would try to avoid being in the same place as him.

She also explained how she is scared of him whenever she sees his face now.

In evidence shown to the court, she said: “I was scared to go to the police and I believed when he said no one would believe me.

“It has affected my relationships, I can’t bear to be in a room with male on my own or a taxi.”

The trial continues.