A BUSINESSMAN charged with indecently and sexually assaulting his then girlfriend's daughter took the stand yesterday and told the court of how at one point he was taking care of the girl, who was not his biological daughter, for a period of six months.
The man said during the time the girl was with him, he would drop her off at school, pick her up again and drop her off at her mother's place and later pick her up and take her home.
He said the mother had asked him that the girl stay with him so she could look for a flat. The man told the court he met the complainant's mother in 2006 and they were involved in a serious relationship which later turned volatile.
He said the relationship turned "to having arguments almost every day, although we loved each other, in early 2008".
The man said his then girlfriend and her daughter moved in with him in 2007.
Questioned by his lawyer Devanesh Sharma if at any time he slapped or assaulted the girl, the man replied: "I remember clearly at one time I smacked her hand with a wooden spoon because she was answering back to her mother and at times would just turn and walk away when her mother was still talking to her.
"The second time, I smacked her arm with a ruler because she was not concentrating when we were doing her homework.
"Other times I would growl at her for not feeding our animals, being late to school and for wearing inappropriate clothing."
The court heard the complainant's mother would make a fuss every time the man's ex-wife and their adopted daughter would come to his home for a visit.
The complainant, now a 16-year-old girl, alleges the accused sexually and indecently assaulted her while she was in his care.
The man yesterday denied all allegations against him.