St John Ambulance volunteer John Franklin guilty of sex assault but faces retrial on other charges
An ambulance volunteer has been convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage student during an intimate medical “assessment”.
John Franklin is, however, likely to face a retrial after a jury failed to reach verdicts on charges involving four other women.
While a member of St John Ambulance in Sittingbourne, the former soldier asked an 18-year-old student in late 2011 if she would let him conduct a medical assessment of her in the back of his private ambulance.
St John Ambulance worker John Franklin was accused of a string of sex assaults
Believing it was part of his training, she took off all her clothes and allowed him to touch her breasts and carry out internal examinations. At his request, she allowed him to do it a second time.
“While doing it, he called her a dirty girl,” prosecutor Anthony Prosser told Maidstone Crown Court. “He told her not to tell anyone, including St John Ambulance.
“He asked if any of her friends would be willing to let him practice on them.”
The teenager told her boyfriend and her mother what happened and the police were informed.
Married father Franklin, of Kent Avenue, Sittingbourne, admitted the internal examinations of the teenager were “misguided”.
Defendant John Franklin outside Maidstone Crown Court
He added: “In hindsight, it was a pretty blooming stupid thing to do. It is probably pretty blooming stupid because I am here.
“It was, as far as I am concerned, valid training, and that’s why I did it.”
The jury of six women and five men, one woman having been discharged, deliberated for three days before returning guilty verdicts by a 10-1 majority on two offences of assault by penetration.
They could not reach verdicts on three charges of sexual assault in 2011 and 2112 on the Urban Blue Bus, providing medical help in Maidstone, at weekends and raping and indecently assaulting a pregnant woman 17 years ago.
The Urban Blue Bus on which some of the alleged offences were said to have taken place
He denied all the charges.
A submission that there should be no reporting of the guilty verdicts by defence lawyer Charles Evans was rejected by Judge Philip Statman.
Mr Evans said he was concerned about the effect reporting would have on the safety of Franklin and his family.
The prosecution was given until February 24 to decide whether there should be a retrial on the remaining charges. Bail was continued.
- Click here for more Sittingbourne news
- Click here for more news from across the county