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Aspiring Barnstaple actor denies underage sex with schoolgirls at sleepover

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

Arran Mullen.

An aspiring actor has denied having underage sex with a schoolgirl during a sleepover at his home and groping two other 14-year-olds.

Arran Mullen told a jury at Exeter Crown Court he had no sexual activity with any of the girls and had not even been in the same room at them at the time of the alleged assaults.

Mullen, 22, is a performing arts graduate whose ambition is to become a famous actor and who joked with one of the girls about taking her away to live with him when he hit the big time.

He said he wanted to be a role model for some of the girls and spoke to them on Facebook to give them advice on how to cope with troubles at home or at school.

He met one of the alleged victims while at a drama group in Barnstaple and kept in touch with two of them by Facebook while he was on a drama course at a university in Canada.

Mullen, of Wimborne Terrace, Barnstaple, denies assault by penetration and four charges of sexual activity with a child which all relate to three 14-year-old girls in the summer and autumn of 2012.

The girls have told the jury the attacks happened while they were visiting Mullen at either his mother or his father’s homes in Barnstaple.

One girl said he put his hand down her trousers and another said he stroked her while sleeping behind her on the floor of his living room after a party.

A third said he had sex with her after she and a friend had been drinking at a sleepover at his mother’s house.

Mullen said he met the first girl two years before at a friend’s party where he told her off because she was drinking been when she was only 12.

He said they became Facebook friends and he had bought her alcohol on three occasions at her request because she said she was being bullied by friends who would hurt her if he didn’t.

He said he met her again after returning from Canada and she was among a group of friends who went back to his mother’s house after a fund raising event for the Headway charity at the British Legion in Barnstaple.

He denied he had ever been alone with the girl in his bedroom and said he had not touched her when they met on two other occasions at his father’s house other than to give her a hug when she arrived and left.

He also denied touching another 14-year-old after the charity event party, saying she was asleep in his bedroom upstairs while he was on the living room floor downstairs.

He said no sexual contact had taken place with the third girl and he had never been alone in the same room as her. He denied having sex with her in his room on the opening night of the 2012 Olympics and said he was playing a Fifa game downstairs at the time.

Mullen said he had tried to support two of the girls through Facebook and text messages but there had been nothing sinister about his contact and he had never tried to take advantage of them.

He said: "I was showing compassion and empathy. I felt I could be a good role model. I felt sorry for one girl and felt she could not talk to anyone else. I felt obliged to help her.

“I tried my best to help her and keep her happy. I was afraid of what she might do. Look at what is happening now.

“I did not want her to feel bad. I don’t like anyone feeling bad. I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to feel happy.”

He said he had sent a text telling one of the girls she was gorgeous and he loved the way she held him tight was not meant literally but was also intended to cheer her up and improve her self esteem.

The trial continues.

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