South East Wales

Ex-police officer Colin Hart insists lover was over 16

Colin Hart Image copyright Wales News Service

A former police officer has acknowledged his relationship with a teenage girl was "inappropriate" but has denied she was underage.

Ex-PC Colin Hart, 61, from Nelson, Caerphilly county, has been charged with seven counts of indecent assault and one of raping a girl under 16.

He has denied the offences, alleged to have happened between 1988 and 1990.

At Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, Mr Hart said she was "at least 17" when a sexual relationship began in 1992.

The court heard the pair met at a pub he visited frequently and after "banter and sexual innuendo" they started to talk to each other "much more intimately".

The jury was told they would meet at his home and at his parents' house in Cardiff.

Mr Hart said he thought she was "a willing participant" and sexual conduct had been "reciprocal".

Defending, Jeffrey Jones asked: "Did she indicate at any stage that she didn't want to be there or was unhappy with what you were doing?"

Mr Hart replied: "No."

Under cross-examination, Mr Hart admitted their affair had been "inappropriate" as he had been engaged at the time, but said he soon "came to his senses".

Martyn Kelly, prosecuting, said: "What you have done is pushed all the dates forward."

"No sir, I'm afraid she has pushed them backwards," he replied.

The trial continues.

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