Two alleged child abuse victims of a retired policeman who worked in Accrington attempted suicide as they later struggled to cope with their ordeals, a court has heard.
Jeffrey Lake, 78, is accused of subjecting them to "quite appalling abuse" at a time when he was a serving officer in the borough and in Liverpool.
Mr Lake denies all the alleged offences.
The defendant had emigrated to Australia and had been living there for seven years when one of his alleged victims walked into a police station in Lancashire and said Lake had sexually and physically abused her.
The woman was interviewed at length and when the investigation widened a second person claimed he too had been abused by the defendant, Preston Crown Court was told.
Lake is on trial over 20 allegations of historic abuse including rape, indecency with a child, indecent assault and child cruelty in the 1960s and 1970s.
The jury was told the defendant served in the police in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, before he moved to Australia in 2002.
The woman who made the initial complaint in December 2009 said Lake had raped her as a child.
She had confided to someone about the alleged abuse when she was a teenager, the court heard.
But that person did not take the matter further because she was "very anxious about the defendant's role as a police officer" and that today it was "something she now deeply regrets", the court was told.
Prosecutor Louise Whaites said the alleged victim went on to suffer from depression and anxiety and had attempted suicide - as had the alleged male victim in the case.
"She was clearly unable to cope with what happened to her," she said.
In the mid-1970s she wrote to the defendant and told him how she felt about what he had allegedly done to her, the jury was told.
She received no response or acknowledgement from the defendant, it was said.
Following his emigration, she wrote more letters to him in which she said she was concerned that he had not changed and would go on to commit similar offences.
She said her death "wouldn't bring matters to a close for him" because she had told her GP, her husband and also her children about the alleged abuse.
Miss Whaites said: "Towards the end of 2009 she found the courage to go to the police to report what had happened to her and as a result the defendant was later arrested.
"It is the Crown's case that both (the alleged victims) were subjected to quite appalling abuse, which over many years they have found very difficult to come to terms with."
The trial, scheduled to last between two and three weeks, continues on Tuesday.