Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man guilty of raping 12-year-old girl in Livingston

A man has been convicted of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl and sexually abusing her and three others in West Lothian.

Robert Russell, 46, committed much of the sexual abuse while his victims were asleep.

Prosecutor Kath Harper described his conduct as "sexually deviant."

At the High Court in Glasgow, Russell was found guilty of offences which took place in Livingston between 2003 and 2016.

He raped one girl when she was aged between 12 and 14.

Facebook friend

The court heard Russell threatened to kill the schoolgirl to stop her telling anyone what had happened to her. He also said that no-one would believe her.

Eventually the girl told school friends what had happened to her, and also opened up to a friend on Facebook.

However, when asked by police in 2011 and 2013 she denied she had been raped.

Ms Harper said: "She was scared because he had threatened to kill her if she told. Imagine the effect that might have on a child.

"It was only in 2016 when, out of the blue, the police came to her that she finally divulged the full extent of what happened."

Judge Lord Clark told Russell: "By the verdict of the jury you have been convicted of 11 charges which includes the repeated rape of a young girl and sexual abuse of her and three others."

Russell was placed on the sex offenders register and will be sentenced next month.

Throughout his trial Russell denied the charges against him and claimed his victims were lying.

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