A FORMER sports coach from Ipplepen has gone on trial accused of grooming and having sex with a teenaged girl who he was training.


Brian Furneaux allegedly got the girl to perform sex acts with him in his car at beauty spots on Haldon Hills and Dartmoor when she was just 15.


He is also alleged to have raped her twice by forcing her to have sex when she said no, Exeter Crown Court was told.


Furneaux met the girl when she joined a sports club where he was a coach in the 1990s but she did not go to the police for almost 30 years.


She gave a video recorded interview in which she said he groomed her with flattery and started minor physical contact such as patting her bottom before moving on to heavy petting and sex.


He led her to believe they were in love and were going to get married and they even agreed what names they would give their children.


He used the nicknames Solar for himself and Pia for her and used them to post a secret Valentine message in a local newspaper.


Bricklayer Furneaux, aged 65, denies nine counts of indecent assault and two of rape, all against the same complainant when she was aged 14 to 16.


Miss Emily Cook, prosecuting, said Furneaux started grooming the girl when she was 13 and in a sports club at which he was a trainer and progressed to having sex with her when she was 14 and 15.


It started with him congratulating her on her performances and went on to him putting his arm around her, squeezing her leg and patting her on her bottom before moving on to heavy petting.


He gave her expensive designer sports clothing and trainers and a piece of kit which he had inscribed with his nickname Solar.


She said he often gave her lifts to and from training sessions and used these to take her to isolated spots where they took part in various sex acts in his car, including oral sex around 20 times.


Miss Cook said he took her to a car park at Little Haldon in the Haldon Forest and isolated spots on Dartmoor. He used a cucumber during one session.


She said Furneaux raped the girl on two occasions when she made clear she did not want sex with him before the relationship ended and she found a boyfriend of her own age.


At different times he placed a Valentine’s message and a birthday greeting in local papers with coded messages which only she would recognise.


The offences were only reported when the girl, now an adult, experienced a flashback while walking at one of the locations where Furneaux had taken her for sex.


He was interviewed by police and accepted he had coached the girl and been friendly with her but denied any inappropriate touching or sexual activity.


Miss Cook said the many allegations of under age sex were not reflected in the charges which Furneaux faces because the old offence of unlawful sexual intercourse, which was in force at the time, had a two-year time bar on prosecutions.

The trial continues