A woman has told a jury that a man accused of raping her over several years when she was a young girl threatened to kill her if she told anyone what he was doing.
Donald Flood, 59, is on trial at Bradford Crown Court charged with five counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault, all of which are alleged to have taken place in the city over several years when he was aged between 14 and 19.
Two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm were also added to the indictment at the start of the trial yesterday.
Flood denies the charges.
At the time of his arrest last year, Flood, now of Arthington Lane, Otley, was working as a caretaker at Pool CE Primary School, although the allegations are unrelated to any schools in the area.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury the years of assaults had left her suffering from depression for much of her life.
The court was told the incidents began with an assault in 1968, when the victim was five, but escalated to rape and indecent assault within two years.
Some of the assaults are alleged to have happened in Peel Park, Bradford.
The jury was shown a video of the interview the victim gave when she first went to police in 2011.
In it she claimed that Flood, a trainee butcher at Rawson Market at the time, had a carving knife with him during some of the assaults, and said he would “cut her throat” if she told anyone.
On other occasions he tried to pay her to perform sex acts on him.
In the interview the woman said: “I can’t get over it. I am trying to stop it from effecting my life. I wanted to do this for years (go to the police) but I always thought it was too late.”
In Flood’s police interview he said there had been a single sexual incident, but he saw it as “experimenting” and not rape, and he said it happened when he was younger than she claimed.
Prosecutor Kitty Taylor said: “Over the years she has struggled to come to terms with what happened to her as a child.
“It happened when the complainant was very young and obviously lacking experience in anything like this.
“When committing the abuse he would say ‘if you tell anyone it will get worse, I will kill you’. Consider the impact of these words on a young child.”
Steven Crossley, defending Flood, cast doubt on the complainant’s evidence, asking her: “There was no sexual abuse in the way you describe was there?”
The woman replied: “There certainly was.”
The trial continues.