St Albans teen tells of sex assault on Thameslink train

A TEENAGER from St Albans has told a court how she was sexually assaulted after she fell asleep on a train and missed her stop.

The 17-year-old student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she was dragged into a toilet and attacked by John Diddier, 49, in January this year.

A jury heard on Tuesday how she had been travelling back to St Albans from St Pancras on a 4.50am First Capital Connect train when she fell asleep just after it left Radlett. She woke when the train stopped at the end of the line in Bedford and because it was due to return to London at 6.18am, she decided to remain onboard in order to get home.

But while waiting she says she ended up alone in the carriage with Mr Diddier who, it is alleged, grabbed her right wrist and pulled her into a cubicle.

Prosecutor Janet Weeks told the jury of eight men and four women that the teenager was trapped by Mr Diddier who started kissing her neck. Ms Weeks said the girl had told him to stop a number of times but he had not listened. It was alleged that he pulled down her pants and sexually assaulted her before crouching down and biting her.

The prosecutor went on: “Nothing was said by him but after a few minutes he dragged her out of the toilet and pushed her back to the same seat. He then leant towards her and pulled up her dress and fondled her breasts.”

St Albans Crown Court was told that the victim had pleaded with him and he had allegedly told her: “Next time, I won’t stop.”

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Ms Weeks said: “A man, there is no dispute it was John Diddier, was on the train and kept trying to talk to her. She was tired and wanted to go to sleep.

“He moved across and started stroking her arm. She pulled her arm away and said: ‘stop touching me please’. She became scared and worried. She was alone.”

It was after this that Mr Diddier is accused of dragging her into the cubicle. Following the alleged attack the girl noticed two men had got into the carriage and she moved down to sit by them. Mr Diddier appeared and asked why she had moved. Ms Weeks said: “One said, ‘can’t you see she is upset? Leave her alone’.”

The teen got off the train at 7am and initially went home before reporting the incident at St Albans police station later that morning.

Ms Weeks said that the DNA on the girl’s bra, dress and pants was found to match Mr Diddier.

He was arrested and gave no comment in his interview.

The prosecutor said the issue in the case was likely to be one of whether the teenager consented.

Mr Diddier, of no fixed address, denies assault by penetration and two charges of sexual assault on January 26 this year. The trial continues.