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Layer Village Store held ‘child exploitation arrangements’

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Layer Village Store

Christopher White, 37, of Mill Lane, Birch, and formerly of Layer Village Store in Layer de la Haye sexually assaulted children in exchange for sweets, cigarettes, and alcohol.

The alleged crimes, which the complainants claim occurred between 2007 and 2009, allegedly occurred while White was alone in the store, which is now under new ownership.

White, of Mill Lane, Birch, acknowledged on the 15th May during the opening of his defence that he allowed two of the minors to conduct sexual acts on him in the store.

He told a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court: “That was for the exchange of goods. Sweets, chocolate, small bottles of vodka, cigarettes.”

Cross-examining White, Dingle Clark, defending, asked: “How did that type of behaviour begin? Who suggested it?”

White said: “It was me, I think.”

Mr Clark responded: “Are there any particular words you used to enable that to happen?”

Christopher White is being tried at Chelmsford Crown Court
White’s trial is held at Chelmsford Crown court //ANDRAMACIUCA

White added: “It was because stock kept going missing, [so I said]: “If you want something, I need something in return.”

The defendant said each girl sexually gratified him two or three times each.

White denied allegations that he brushed his genitalia against a schoolgirl’s leg in the refrigeration room of the Malting Green Road store.

The court heard that he typically worked three hours in the morning before returning to work from 4 to 7 p.m.

Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., he would be alone in the establishment without a key, although the front door had a chain.

White informed the jury that there was a “two at a time” restriction for pupils due to theft, specifically of cigarettes.

He added, “There were quite a few troublesome children in the village.”

White denies three counts of sexual activity with a minor, two counts of sexual assault on a minor, and two counts of raping a minor.

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