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Sittingbourne St John Ambulance first-aider John Franklin accused of sex attacks on women while volunteering on Urban Blue Bus in Maidstone

15 January 2014
by Keith Hunt

A first-aider who ran a private ambulance company sexually assaulted women while carrying out an "assessment" and treating patients, a court heard.

John Franklin was a St John Ambulance member in Sittingbourne and a volunteer on an Urban Blue Bus in Maidstone town centre providing medical help when he committed the alleged offences.

The 38-year-old father is also accused of raping and indecently assaulting a pregnant woman several years ago.

John Franklin denies sexual assault

John Franklin denies sexual assault

The woman came forward after she read about the other allegations made at a previous trial, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Anthony Prosser, prosecuting, said some of the offences were committed in late 2011 and early 2012 and those concerning the pregnant woman more than 17 years ago.

"He called her a dirty girl and tutted..." - prosecutor Anthony Prosser to the jury

Franklin, he said, asked an 18-year-old student to let him conduct a medical assessment of her in the back of his private ambulance.

Believing it was part of training for him to become a paramedic, she removed her clothes and he is said to have twice touched her breasts and carried out internal examinations.

"While he did this he called her a dirty girl and tutted," the prosecutor told the jury of seven women and five men.

"He told her not to tell anyone because it was strange, especially St John Ambulance."

He allegedly asked if she knew of anybody else who would do it, saying they would have to be discreet and not shout about it. The prosecutor said he added they would have to take their bras off and the examination would be "hands on".

The Urban Blue Bus on which some of the alleged offences were said to have taken place

The Urban Blue Bus on which some of the alleged offences were said to have taken place

Mr Prosser said Franklin committed other offences while on the charity-run Blue Bus on Saturday evenings.

He told one woman who suffered a panic attack she would have to strip to her underwear so that he could monitor her heart rate. He asked her to take her bra off and then handled her breasts, it was alleged.

Another woman was out with her boyfriend when she collapsed. Her top and bra were removed and Franklin lifted her left breast to place an ECG pad there, it was said. Her boyfriend said Franklin's hands were shaking as though he had Parkinson's disease.

A third woman was found half-dressed in a toilet cubicle. When her friend disclosed the woman had previously been raped, Franklin asked if she wanted him to check. He then pulled her legs apart, touched her intimately and allegedly said: "That's fine."

The case is being heard at Maidstone Crown Court

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

Franklin was a soldier serving in Bosnia in the mid-1990s when he re-enacted a gynaecological examination wearing a latex glove on a pregnant woman and called her a dirty girl, said Mr Prosser.

He said he went on to rape her, despite her telling him she did not want to have sex.

In denying all the allegations, Franklin claimed the examinations were "medically required", said the prosecutor.

But three experts agreed there was no medical reason to carry out such examinations. "The Crown say there was a sexual motivation," said Mr Prosser.

Franklin claimed the rape and indecent assault of a pregnant woman in the mid-1990s simply did not happen and that she had made it up vindictively and maliciously.

Franklin, of Kent Avenue, Sittingbourne, denies rape, indecent assault, two charges of assault by penetration and three of sexual assault.

The trial continues.

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