Jury hears of sex abuse at joke shop in '70s
A BOY was subjected to sexual abuse at a joke shop in central Bristol in the 1970s, a court heard.
Joseph Devotee, who ran the shop on Christmas Steps, befriended the youngster and molested him at the shop and again at his home in Ashley Down Road, a jury at Bristol Crown Court was told.
Though the boy spoke to his family and doctors, he felt unable to go to the police until early 2010, alleging abuse that took place in the 1970s when he was aged under 16.
Devotee, 80, now of The Pines, Greenhill, Weymouth, denies five charges of indecency with a child and two other serious sexual assaults. One of the indecency charges relates to a second boy.
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Herbert Burrowes, 59, also known as Sapphire or Patrick Mclean, of Barclay Road in Bishopston, denies indecency with a child and a serous sexual assault on the first boy. He arrived at court wearing a Christmas outfit but did not wear it during his court appearance.
Ian Dixey, prosecuting, said the older of the two boys was sexually abused by a paedophile estate agent called David Joll, now deceased, who also took pictures of the child.
In due course another boy came to know Joll, and both boys were introduced to Devotee, the court heard.
One boy recalled how he first met Devotee at a party thrown by Joll.
Mr Dixey said: "He used to drive around in a Jaguar and he owned a joke shop on Christmas Steps.
"(The boy) used to bunk off school in the afternoon and go to the shop.
"He used to stay overnight at Devotee's address in Ashley Down Road and he used to share a bed with him."
Mr Dixey said the other boy also recalled going to the joke shop and Devotee's home.
Mr Dixey told the jury: "(The boy) remembers going there and using a power shower, which was a novelty for him. Mr Devotee filmed him as he got out."
The court heard sexual abuse followed, and the boy was also filmed and abused in a boat on the River Avon at Bath.
The same complainant told how he met Burrowes through Devotee, and Burrowes attempted a serous sexual assault on him and performed another.
When arrested, Devotee admitted knowing the boys but denied wrongdoing and Burrowes denied any sexual activity with one of them.
The case continues.