A FAMILY friend groomed a four-year-old girl by buying her ice creams and taking her on outings before subjecting her to years of abuse, a jury has heard.
Graham Godbeer allegedly raped the child in the back of his car in a North Devon lay-by after getting her to lie down and telling her he was going to tell her a story.
She was left in terrible pain but he pacified her by buying her a dinner of fish and chips as a reward, Exeter Crown Court heard.
The assaults happened in the late 1970s when Godbeer visited her family home near Hatherleigh and persuaded her parents to allow him to take her out in his car.
The woman kept her abuse silent for more than 30 years before telling police what happened to her between the ages of four and nine.
The jury watched a video of her police interview in which she said the abuse started when he took her out for an ice cream but then pulled into a lay-by.
She said he forced her to take part in more serious sex acts until he raped her when she was seven.
Godbeer, 55, of Veale Close, Hatherleigh denies three rapes, two indecent assaults and indecency with a girl.
Richard Crabb, for the prosecution, said the abuse only came to an end when the girl's family moved from the village where they lived near Hatherleigh and all contact with Godbeer ended.
Mr Crabb said the girl was so young when the abuse started she had very little idea what he was doing to her but still remembered the pain of the attacks.
He said: "At the time the defendant told her it was fine and everyone did it and she did not need to tell anyone about it. We say it was all part of the grooming process.
"A pattern developed with him taking her and the things she was expected to do escalated.
"When she was seven he had full sex with her in the back of his car after telling her to lie down and saying he was going to tell her a story."
Mr Crabb said Godbeer denied all the allegations and said he could not remember taking the girl out in his car on her own.
The trial was continuing yesterday.