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Marcell
Oct 13th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Tennis pupil 'accused male coach of rape'




A teenage tennis player said to have had a lesbian love affair claimed to have been raped by a male tennis coach, a court was told yesterday.

A jury heard how the girl made the claims to fellow pupils at the Lawn Tennis Association training academy at Loughborough when she was 13.

But Liverpool Crown Court heard no evidence that the allegations were ever reported to police or investigated.



Claire Lyte, 29, a former Wimbledon player, denies five charges of having sexual activity with the girl between May 2005 and June 2006.

Three teenage tennis players, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave their accounts of the rape claims made by the girl, now 15.

A 17-year-old, who called herself the youngster's "best friend", said: "The girl's old coach came down to do a warm-up video for Wimbledon. My friend went very quiet and didn't want to be around him. I asked her what was wrong and she told me he had hurt her."

Another friend told how the girl confided in her but swore her to secrecy in 2004. "We were walking back from practice together and she was upset. I kept asking her what was wrong. She told me her old coach had raped her."

She went on: "On a different date she said that she'd been dropped off by her old coach and he came in and raped her. I said 'Does your mum know?' She said 'Yes' and that was why she was crying —because she'd told her mum that weekend."

She said her room-mate later heard the same claim and asked the girl if they should tell anyone. "The girl replied 'No'. My room-mate also asked if she'd told her mum and this time the answer was 'No'. We thought it was a bit strange, because you don't forget if you have told your mum something like that."

The third girl corroborated this: "I asked her if her mum knew and she said 'No'."

The mother of the alleged victim claims she caught Lyte in bed with her daughter engaging in oral sex in October 2005. She did not bring in police until 12 months later.

The case continues.