Former Larbert babysitter guilty of sex assault on eight year old girl

Livingston Sheriff Court
Livingston Sheriff Court

A former babysitter has been convicted of sexually assaulting an eight year old girl almost a decade ago.

David Knox (23) attacked the youngster in an upstairs bedroom as his alcoholic mum drank downstairs, a jury heard.

But the girl’s sister – then six years-old – gave evidence that she walked into the room and saw him lying on top of the half-naked youngster.

The jury saw video evidence from the victim, now aged 16,in which she told how Knox removed her clothing restrained her and touched her private parts as she struggled to fight him off.

A jury at the High Court in Livingston took three and a half hours to return a unanimous verdict finding the accused guilty of the historic offence, deleting an allegation that he attempted to rape the schoolgirl.

Knox, of Larbert, was cleared of raping and attempting to rape the older girl between 2010 and 2011.

He was also acquitted of two counts of sexually abusing the younger sister in 2010 by rubbing her foot against his privates over his boxer shorts after the jury found the charges not proven.

He had originally denied a total of 11 charges, nine of them sexual and the remaining two involving possession of drugs.

Advocate depute Murdoch McTaggart told the jury in his closing speech that the alleged sexual incidents had happened around the same time within a short period of time either at Knox’s home or the home of the sisters’ family.

“They happened in situations where David Knox was babysitting the children,” he said. “Even if there were adults present he was supervising them.”

Referring to the sexual assault, he said: “The sister interrupted David Knox. X said David Knox was trying to have sex with her on that occasion.

“She’s going to remember a traumatic incident an incident that she saw happen, a young man was trying to have sex with her sister while Mrs Knox was downstairs.

“Because of other circumstances in these two chaotic households she’s going to be confused about surrounding incidents, perhaps an indication of just two girls trying to cast their minds back to a very traumatic incident.”

Judge Lady Carmichael called for social work background reports and deferred sentence on Knox until February 27 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

She added his name to the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect and told him the Scottish Government would be notified of his conviction under legislation to protect vulnerable groups.

She added: “I do wish to be fully informed about the background here. It was clearly indicated in the evidence that there were potential difficulties.

“I will continue your bail in the meantime though you must not take it as any indication of the eventual sentence.”