Jury to retire in trial of Brighton sex therapist accused of raping boy, 14, in King Alfred toilets

Posted On 27 Jul 2017 at 9:41 pm

A Brighton sex therapist charged with raping a 14-year-old boy in the toilets of the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove was “a man of integrity”, a jury was told today.

Nick Gully, 48, had had a troubled youth but used his recovery from addiction to help others, his barrister Beverley Cherrill, told the jury at Hove Crown Court.

Gully, of Eley Crescent, Rottingdean, admitted having sexual contact with someone who appeared to be old enough during what seemed to be “an easy pick up”, she said.

And she added: “I doubt that any one of you will be able to look at Mr Gully without feeling some disgust.”

But Miss Cherrill urged the jury not to judge his morals. Instead they had to reach a verdict – beyond reasonable doubt – based on the evidence about whether he had broken the law.

“There is sexual contact,” she said. “That is accepted. But he isn’t charged with being amoral. He is not charged with grooming a child. He is accused of rape – of having sex without consent.”

And she reminded the jury that “an independent prosecution witness thought (the boy) was 16 – just as Mr Gully did”.

Referring to the toilets at the King Alfred, on Hove seafront, where Mr Gully was about to take a meditation class, she said: “Mr Gully walks in. What does (the boy) do who said Mr Gully was making him so uncomfortable? He went into a cubicle.

“Why not walk out? What does it look like to Mr Gully? Why go into a cubicle instead of leaving after he (the boy) has been touched?

“Perhaps (the boy’s) interest was piqued by Mr Gully’s interest in him.”

Afterwards, she said, the boy may have felt shame as he waited for his mother to pick him up.

Nicholas Gully

Miss Cherrill said: “What did Mr Gully do? He just carried on as normal in a place where he was widely known. He’s supposed to have just raped him!”

Had he done so, he would have been risking everything, Miss Cherrill said, when he could so easily just hook up with someone using an app such as Grindr.

She said: “This was an easy pick up. It was a nice way to spend 10 minutes before he had a shower.”

Amy Packham, prosecuting, said: “There are a lot of people who think very highly of Mr Gully – personally and professionally. He has helped a lot of people. That is a side of him.

“On the surface Nicholas Gully is the loving father and respectable professional that you have heard so much about.”

She accepted that people who knew him described him as “a man with the utmost integrity” but added: “There always seems to have been another side – a secret side to him.”

He had a long history of seeking out others for sexual encounters – something he had managed to conceal from almost everyone who knew him.

Hove Crown Court

Miss Packham said: “No one in his household was aware of his interest in boys and young men. He has hidden his sexual fantasies from people his entire life.”

And she added: “This is not a case of consenting adults meeting up in park toilets or at Duke’s Mound in Brighton to engage in casual sex.”

On Sunday 29 January he had followed a 14-year-old boy into the toilets at the King Alfred and sexually assaulted and raped him, she said.

With the jury expected to retire tomorrow morning (Friday 28 July), Miss Packham said that the case boiled down to who the jury believed.

She said that the boy had told people what had happened almost straight away afterwards and his account was unchanged, consistent and true.

Gully had not given his version of events until he came to court and refused to submit to an intimate DNA sample that could have provided evidence of his innocence or guilt.

Miss Packham said: “This was opportunistic but it was an opportunity that Mr Gully had sought out. It was motivated by desire.

“Really this case is about what happened and who is telling the truth.

The King Alfred Leisure Centre – Picture courtesy of Wikiwand

“(The boy) submitted to what Mr Gully wanted but, as you have heard, submission is not consent.

“When he went into the toilet it had never entered his mind that something sexual might happen.

“Why should it? He was waiting for his mother to pick him up and take him home for a Sunday roast.”

Miss Packham told the jury: “Gully said that they kissed passionately.”

But the boy had said nothing. He froze. And he couldn’t get out of there fast enough, she said.

Judge Christine Henson outlined the legal test for sexual assault and for rape and said that the question of consent was crucial.

Gully faces two charges of sexual assault and one count of rape.

Judge Christine Henson

Explaining the specific legal meaning of consent, it was Judge Henson who told the jury: “Submission is not consent.”

There had to be a freely made choice, she said, adding: “Rape may or may not be accompanied by the use of force.”

Gully has worked as a counsellor for people with addictions, including sex and love addictions, for more than 20 years.

He has worked as a part-time lecturer at Brighton University, specialising in addiction and cognitive behavioural therapy, and was previously director of addiction services at the Priory Hospital in London.

He has practised in Brighton and Hove as well as in London, also working with people addicted to drink, drugs and gambling, those with compulsive spending habits and eating disorders.

He sat impassively as the barristers completed their closing statements.

Judge Henson said that she would give her summing up in the morning before the jury were sent out to reach their verdict.

  1. Sam smith Reply

    ‘A nice way to spend ten minutes before a shower’?
    Wow. And whether the boy looked 14 or 16 a
    Man who is a lot older and a psychologist counsellor should be able to ask for consent.

  2. robert Reply

    The question of consent is for the jury to decide, not you.

  3. Rostrum Reply

    At 14 any ‘consent’ is moot as the child is below the age of consent as well as majority.

  4. just me Reply

    ths guy gully was leaving dodgy notes on my car, referring to me (whio he didn’t even know) as his “little puppy dog”. He`s just strange. I did some work for him, years ago and he stitched me up, refused to pay me. I had to sue him eventually.

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