Brothers tell of abuse at Bo’ness man’s trial

Robert Gill's trial continues at the High Court in Livingston
Robert Gill's trial continues at the High Court in Livingston

Two brothers have told they were repeatedly abused by a rape accused.

The men – now aged 33 and 35 – both said they first met Robert Gill when they were around 13-years-old.

They claimed they looked up to Gill (41) who was “cool” because he drove a white Vauxhall Corsa with dark tinted windows and ran an ice cream van trading as Robbie’s Ices.

The elder brother told a jury at the High Court at Livingston that Gill initially came to watch them play football with their friends in the Edinburgh area.

He said Gill started to turn up in his car and drive him to a Matalan store at night and let him drive it around the car park.

He said Gill would promise treats such as trips to McDonalds fast food restaurants and trips on his ice cream van.

He claimed Gill always demanded sexual favours in return and regularly groped him and asked him for sex, a request he always refused.

He also related how Gill would go swimming with at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, and sexually abuse him there.

He claimed Gill got him to pull down his trousers and pants then took photographs of his naked buttocks but said he was never shown the images.

He said he stopped meeting Gill when he turned 17 and passed his driving test.

He admitted he felt “ashamed” and “embarrassed” about what Gill had done to him but didn’t tell anyone until his brother’s partner let slip that similar things had been done to him. He reported Gill to the police in 2014.

His elder brother told how Gill took him in his car when he was aged 13 or 14 to derelict lots in the Edinburgh area and often parked in a layby with bushes beside it.

He said Gill would give him cannabis to smoke before abusing him in the car and said he met the accused once or twice a week over a period of months.

He said: “He used to make us do moonies as a joke – pulling your trousers down and showing your bum. Because we were all just young boys we thought it was just fun.

“It would happen anywhere really, anywhere we were in his car. He’d probably start off and say: ‘Do a moonie’ as a joke and that’s how it first started.”

He added: “He started threatening me saying he had mates who would stab my brother or get my mum. I was a young boy so I did take it seriously.

“I hated him. I felt ashamed. I still do.”

Neither of the men can be named for legal reasons.

Gill faces a total of 17 charges involving under-age boys at addresses in Edinburgh and Bo’ness between April 6, 1993 and February 5, 2015.

They include four counts lewd, indecent and libidinous behaviour, four of sexual or indecent assault, intentionally causing a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity, and one rape.

The charges include having “an unnatural carnal connection” with a boy who was aged between 12 and 14 and raping the same youth after supplying him with the drug when he was aged between 13 and 15.

Gill is also accused of taking photographs of youngsters when they were naked, and possessing and distributing indecent photographs of children via Facebook. It’s alleged that he intentionally caused one youth to look at a sexual image by sending it to him via a text message.

The jury heard evidence that police found dozens of indecent pictures, including still photos and videos of boys aged between eight and 12 engaging in sex acts, on a computer taken from Gill’s home.

He is also charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis to six of the teenagers and producing the Class B drug at his home in Stewart Avenue, Bo’ness, West Lothian in February this year.

Gill denies all the charges. The trial before Lord Glennie continues.