Ambulance volunteer John Franklin claims victim accused him of sex attacks after reading a newspaper report in the Sittingbourne News Extra
An ambulance volunteer claimed a woman made up allegations he sexually abused her more than 17 years ago after reading a newspaper report that he was on trial for other assaults, a court heard.
John Franklin, of Kent Avenue, Sittingbourne, was appearing at Maidstone Crown Court in May last year, accused of two offences of assault by penetration on a teenage
student in the back of his private ambulance in the town, when a front page article in the Sittingbourne News Extra led to another alleged victim coming forward.
He was also on trial at the time for allegedly committing three sexual assaults on the Urban Blue Bus in Maidstone town centre.
St John Ambulance worker John Franklin accused of sex assaults
However, the same court this week heard that the police were contacted after the story was spotted by the sister of latest alleged victim.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, described how she felt sick when she read it herself and collapsed on her kitchen floor.
Franklin, a former St John Ambulance volunteer and Royal Engineer, was arrested at the court the following day.
While his trial was delayed, the 39-year-old was interviewed by police at Maidstone police station.
But he denied he had either forced the woman to re-enact a medical examination or raped her in the mid 1990s.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
Franklin told police: "She has made it up because of what she has read in the paper."
The woman told police that when Franklin allegedly abused her, he referred to her as a "dirty girl". This was also alleged by the teenage student and reported in the original press report.
"She has made it up because of what she has read in the paper" - John Franklin
However, Franklin denied he had said such words. "She has picked that up out of the paper and thrown it in for effect," he added.
Franklin was subsequently charged with indecent assault and rape. He denies all seven offences.
Franklin is due to give evidence today.
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