Allegations childhood sex abuse took place in Bainsford house

A 19-year-old appeared in Livingston Sheriff Court.
A 19-year-old appeared in Livingston Sheriff Court.

A single mum has claimed that an alleged rapist “ruined” her childhood years by repeatedly sexually abusing her.

The woman, now aged 19, told a jury she was subjected to violent and degrading treatment by Antonio Russell from the age of four until she threatened to report him to the police when she was ten-years-old.

The alleged victim, from the Falkirk area, said the abuse took place mainly in the bedroom of Russell’s home in Carronside Street, Bainsford, when she was left alone with him.

Russell (25) is charged with two counts of rape, one of lewd and libidinous practices and one of assault to injury, all involving the same girl. The prosecution alleges that he committed the offences between October 20, 2004 and August 31, 2013 at Russell’s home and at another address in Falkirk.

He denies all the charges and is standing trial by jury before Judge Lady Carmichael at the High Court in Livingston.

Giving evidence from behind a screen on Thursday, the woman claimed that her first memory was of Russell ordering her to pull down her trousers when she was aged four or five and shining a torch on her body while a friend of his watched.

She said: “I just remember him asking that I play games with him and he would sexually abuse me.

“He used to try and have sex with me when I was a young child but because I was so young it never quite worked.”

She said the sexual molestation only stopped because he thought she might report him to the police.

She also claimed that when she was younger, Russell made her “run through knives”. She claimed he was raising the blades up and down and making her run through them.

She commented: “I wouldn’t say normal children play with knives. I’ve got a child myself and I couldn’t imagine her playing with knives as a normal laugh.

“He just used to hit me all the time and batter me. He sexually abused me and he was violent with me as well.”

Among other physical violence, she said Russell threw an ornamental dragon at her causing a bleeding injury on her head which left a scar.

She said she also suffered cracked ribs after he repeatedly kicked her while wearing footwear with steel toecaps.

“Every time he got angry he’d take his anger out on me. I took myself out of the situation when I was 16.”

She claimed Russell had confessed about abusing her during a row which was overheard by members of his family.

The trial continues.