Bristol policeman James Williams takes stand to deny abusing girl, 3
A POLICE officer accused of abusing a three-year-old girl said the allegations are a "nightmare" which has dominated his life.
PC James Williams took to the stand yesterday to proclaim his innocence and deny any inappropriate behaviour.
The 28-year-old, who has been suspended from his duties at Trinity Road police station for some time, said: "It's had a massive impact on my life. I've moved address six or seven times and my whole life has been on hold.
"Basically, general day-to-day stuff has not been easy for myself. It's been a nightmare, to sum it up."
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Williams, who now lives near Cardiff, denies sexual assault by penetration on a girl under 13.
The jury at Bournemouth Crown Court has previously heard how his alleged victim told her mum that Williams had "hurt" her private parts and exposed himself to her.
After showing symptoms, she was examined at Bristol Children's Hospital and found to have chlamydia, a disease usually contracted sexually.
Williams did not know the girl had chlamydia until he was arrested and told so before being interviewed by detectives. He agreed to be tested and was found to have the same strain of the disease, which accounts for about half of cases in the UK.
"The whole chlamydia thing was something new to me," he said. "I had had no signs or symptoms."
Williams told the court the only explanation he had for the allegations was that he remembered on one occasion adjusting the girl's underwear.
The 28-year-old admitted that when he first heard the allegations he did not deny them.
When asked why he did not, he said: "I was clearly shocked. Obviously, I had concerns going round my head – why had she said this?
"I was in complete shock. I didn't know what to say really."
During cross examination, prosecutor Kerry Barker accused Williams of making up the story about the underwear to cover his tracks, after he had spoken to his senior officers about the allegations and they had discussed the possibility that DNA evidence could be found on the girl.
"It's not a lie, never – it's not a lie," Williams responded.
He said he could not remember DNA cropping up in the conversation with his superiors and had not seen the "significance" of bringing up the underwear incident with anyone else at an earlier stage.
The court heard Williams joined Avon and Somerset constabulary in December 2004 and had a clean disciplinary record before the claims.
Before that Williams was a "trusted" and "responsible" youth club mentor and had been a leader on Christian youth camps with his local church, the jury was told.
His barrister David Hughes called three character witnesses – and read the statement of another – who all spoke of the defendant in glowing terms, praising his honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty.
The case continues.