Appearing at Livingston High Court today, Iain Murray (62) said he admitted the relationship to police, but told the prosecution and jury at his trial he did not have “an unnatural interest” in children.
Murray, from Bannockburn, near Stirling, is accused of abusing a girl from the age of 10 in the late 1990s and trying to rape her when she was 14-years old.
Now that his alleged victim has turned 30, he is charged with raping her 12-year-old daughter and abusing the girl’s eight year-old sister between 2016 and 2017.
Murray, whose current address was given as a residential caravan at Millhall, Stirling, denies a total of six sexual offences.
Giving evidence in his own defence, Murray said he had “no idea” why the children and their mother had made abuse allegations against him.
He admitted the mum of three had allowed him to babysit for the two sisters on numerous occasions, but denied being a paedophile.
He said he felt annoyed a detective who interviewed him “forcefully” about the allegations last year had suggested he needed help.
George Pollock, defending, put to Murray: “Your position is that none of the allegations are true.”
Murray replied: “None of them are true.”
Under cross-examination by advocate depute Joanna McDonald, Murray agreed an admission to detectives that he had touched the private parts of the 12-year-old had “backfired” on him.
He explained: “I just wanted out of that place. I just thought if I admitted to something I might get to go home. That’s all I could think about at the time.”
The jury was played a recording of the interview in which he was asked why he had touched the youngster in this way.
He replied: “It’s probably a wee thrill. You know its wrong in the back of your head.”
The police officer then asked him: “Have you thought about taking it further?” He answered: “Yes.”
The jury was told that, following the partial admission, his reply to being cautioned and charged was: “I don’t admit to any of that.”
Summing up, the advocate depute told the jury that the charges in the case were “graphic” and “unpleasant”. Each of the witnesses did not find it easy to speak about the accused.”
She said the allegations followed a similar pattern: massage, followed by sexual contact and the accused had made comments about his alleged victims breasts and exposed himself to them.
She added: “The pattern of abuse meted out in relation to (the daughter) is very similar to that that (her mother) suffered.
“A course of conduct was being followed by Murray. He gained gratification from the sexual abuse.”
She said the jury would be asking themselves why the mother would entrust her daughters to the accused, given that he had abused her in the past.
She reminded them: “She told you: ‘I didn’t think he would do that to my girls’. She tells the police that they discussed the fact whether he would touch her girls and he said he wouldn’t.
“That’s perhaps something she has to live with. That doesn’t mean these children are lying about what happened.”
The jury heard earlier that the sisters and their mum were interviewed by police after the mother found an entry in her older daughter’s diary under the heading ‘My secrets” saying Murray was “a paedo”.
The trial, before Lord Burns, continues.