Funeral director Gerald Martin in court on abuse charges

Gerald Martin, right
Image caption Gerald Martin (right) was a well known funeral director in Hartlepool

A boy was grabbed from a public toilet, bundled into a car and sexually abused at a funeral parlour, a court heard.

Hartlepool funeral director Gerald Martin, 66, is accused of sexually abusing five teenage boys over a 20 year period from the 1970s.

Mr Martin, of Valley Close, denies all the charges.

Teesside Crown Court heard the alleged abuse came to light in 2013 when a man told a nurse he had been assaulted.

Accused 'winked at victim'

He had visited the University Hospital of North Tees' accident and emergency department suffering from suicidal thoughts.

Prosecutors said that, after reports of Mr Martin's first appearance at court, four other people came forward to say they had also been abused by him.

Some would give evidence that they had been sexually abused in public toilets, the court was told.

One man told police he was about 12 or 13 years old when, walking home after playing with friends, he stopped at some public toilets.

There he was allegedly grabbed by Mr Martin and dragged into a car, taken to the funeral parlour and sexually assaulted, he said.

Another man said the accused had winked at him at a family funeral, years after he abused him.

Mr Martin was described as being well known in Hartlepool, with a high profile position.

The court heard he had told police he was gay but that his wife did not know.

The trial continues.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites