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A 25-year-old man has had his name added the sex offenders’ register after being convicted of repeatedly abusing a young girl over a six year period.
Antonio Russell’s victim told a jury he had “ruined” her childhood by repeatedly sexually abusing her between the ages of four and ten when he acted as babysitter for her dad.
The woman, now a single mum aged 19, claimed the violent and degrading treatment to which Russell subjected her only ended after she threatened to report him to the police.
Russell, from Falkirk, showed no emotion as the unanimous verdict convicting him of more than five and a half years of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards the girl was read out at the High Court in Livingston.
He was cleared of an allegation that he raped the youngster at his home on various occasions between 2004 and 2010 after the jury returned a majority verdict finding the charge ‘not proven’.
In addition to adding Russell’s name to the sex offenders’ register, Judge Lady Carmichael told him that Scottish Ministers would be notified of his conviction under laws protecting vulnerable groups.
On being told he had suffered from ongoing mental health problems since 2013, she called for a psychiatric report to be prepared in addition to a criminal justice social work report before she passes sentence at Glasgow High Court on August 15.
Continuing Russell’s bail, she warned him: “The fact that I’ve allowed bail to continue at this stage should not be taken as any indication of how I may eventually sentence you in this case.”
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman said the abuse took place mainly in Russell’s bedroom in Carronside Street, Bainsford, when she was left alone with him.
She claimed that Russell ordered her to pull down her trousers when she was aged four or five and shone 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 was violent with me as well.”
She said the sexual molestation only stopped because he thought she might report him to the police.
The jury accepted the complainer’s evidence that Russell had confessed to guests at a party in his home that he had abused her when she was younger.