Brightons man denies rape and sexual abuse charges

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A young woman wept today (Friday) as she claimed her babysitter sexually abused and raped her when she was nine-years-old.

The 24-year-old – who can’t be named for legal reasons – was giving evidence from behind a screen on the first day of the trial of William Russell.

Russell (35), from Brightons, is charged with raping the youngster between April 2003 and April 2005 at her home in a Stirlingshire village.

He is also charged with using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the girl and her sister, who was then aged between 11 and 12.

He denies the charges and his trial at the High Court in Livingston is expected to last for four days.

The younger girl claimed in evidence that Russell who she said was called “Silly Willie” by locals – regularly acted as babysitter for her and her sister and for some weeks or months stayed with her family as a lodger.

She said he told her to go up to the bathroom and followed her in before seizing her by the wrists and forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

She told the jury: “We had a secret. We’d do things. He’d make me touch him and stuff.”

She said there was more sexual contact when Russell moved into their house when she was aged about nine.

She said: “He slept in the living room, sometimes on the couch and sometimes on a blow-up mattress.

“My mum wasn’t really strict so we slept wherever we wanted, sometimes upstairs in our bed, sometimes in the living room, sometimes I’d go into my sister’s bed.”

She claimed she often wakened to find that her pyjama bottoms and underwear had been removed while she was asleep.

She said Russell frequently pinched the top of her legs and squeezed her arms.

Twice, she claimed, she wakened to find the accused on top of her, once in the living room and once in her bedroom.

Speaking through tears she said he was having sex with her and it made her “sore”.

She said she didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but remembered cleaning her legs afterwards using lots of toilet paper.

The trial, before Lord Burns, continues.