Hove pensioner, 90, charged with sexually assaulting a child in Tesco superstore six years before it was built

Posted On 08 Jun 2016 at 12:18 pm

UPDATE: Sussex Police issued a statement on Saturday 11 June saying that the charges referring to the Tesco car park in Church Road, Hove, on the charge sheet and court list relate to the Tesco in Station Road, Portslade.

A 90-year-old man from Hove has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl in a Tesco superstore at least six years before it was built.

Peter Cleaver, of New Church Road, Hove, was brought before Brighton magistrates to answer three charges of indecently assaulting a girl under 14.

Two of the assaults were said to have happened in the Tesco superstore in Church Road, Hove, between dates in April 1992 and April 1997.

The store wasn’t built until 2003 although the allegations contained in the charge have been investigated by Sussex Police and the charges authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Tesco, in Church Road, Hove - Picture by Paul Gillett / Creative Commons / geograph.co.uk

Tesco, in Church Road, Hove – Picture by Paul Gillett / Creative Commons / geograph.co.uk

The other offence was alleged to have taken place at a property in Sherbourne Close, in Hangleton.

Cleaver, who turned 70 during the period in question, denied abusing the girl when he appeared before magistrates on Thursday 26 May.

He was bailed to appear before a judge at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday 23 June. He was told not to have any unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 nor to contact the woman who accused him of assaulting her.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    This is a disgrace. How can this case proceed when someone is charged with an offence in a building that did not exist at the time!!! What is going on???

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    There wasn’t even a planning application to remove the gasworks until 2000!! Planning details were still in play in 2003 when building the Tesco only really began. Ooops! I guess the police and accusers are so young they think its been there forever.

  3. Stephen Frost Reply

    Memories are funny things. It’s entirely possible he’s innocent, but it’s also entirely possible that the victim misremembered the location. We don’t have all of the facts and can’t form any meaningful opinion of the case.

  4. Christina Summers Reply

    I think Stephen probably has the right approach at this stage, HOWEVER, since the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charges, then I have my doubts about their veracity since I believe the CPS is corrupt.

  5. Alex Reply

    The exact dates to the day would be difficult to tie down. But, the place and the time of the year would be burned into the mind of the child. If the evidence shows to the contrary then this must be questioned It may be there was abuse perpetrated upon this young girl but not at the place and not with the same person. Child abuse cases are very complicated and difficult not only for the victim but also for those investigating these crimes. Thorough investigation is needed and clearly this did not happen in this case as the evidence of place where it happened seems on the surface to not tie in with what the victim says. I add that it may well have taken place at the same location but that does need to be clarified and should have been clarified before the case was even bought before the CPS

    • Brian Combe Reply

      There was and still is a large COOP right next to where Tesco is now so it’s possible that the girl just got the wrong shop. But the man is innocent until proved otherwise. I wish that names weren’t given out. There are so many self appointed justice doers who will be the last people to apologise if they made his life hell only to find there was nothing to it.

  6. Ruth Reply

    The people writing this also could have got the store wrong! You shouldn’t judge something you know nothing about!

  7. Naomi Darby Reply

    I do believe that people that think the cps would prosecute someone in a location that didn’t exsist are being quite silly, maybe people should realise it’s the paper that has the details wrong

  8. Brian Southgate Reply

    So an allegation is made, possible flaws in the evidence exist, but still the so called perpatrator is named, a 90 year old man, and the alleged victim remains anonymous. Is that justice?

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