Offender gets four years for abusing four-year-old

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A sex offender who ruined his victim’s childhood with a catalogue of abuse was jailed for four years yesterday (Wednesday).

Bainsford man Antonio Russell (25) appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh with some hope he would receive a non-custodial sentence for his crimes, but Judge Lady Carmichael told him in her view only a prison sentence was appropriate.

Russell was convicted of indecent behaviour towards his victim carried out between 2004 and 2010 after a trial at the High Court in Livingston earlier in the year.

The woman, now aged 19, said she was subjected to violent and degrading treatment at the hands of Russell from the age of four until the age of 10, when she threatened to contact police if he continued.

She told Russell’s trial her earliest memory was of him ordering her to pull down her trousers when she was aged four and him shining a torch on her body.

She said: “I just remember him asking that I play games with him and he would sexually abuse me. He was violent with me as well.”

The woman said the abuse mainly took place in Russell’s bedroom at his house in Carronside Street, Bainsford.

During the trial the jury accepted her evidence Russell had confessed to guests at a party in his home he had abused her when she was younger. He had denied the allegations.

Defence counsel Derick Nelson said a background report prepared on Russell, who has suffered from ongoing mental health problems since 2013, painted a picture of a solitary lifestyle and a man with no real friends or social life.

He said there was a suggestion Russell could be made subject to a community payback order and carry out unpaid work, but the difficulty was that he could not carry out that programme.

The defence counsel said it had to be accepted the offending took place over a long period of time and involved a young child.

Russell was also placed on the sex offenders register.