A farm worker from Fife is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of raping a six-year-old girl.
Tractor driver Ian Brown had denied committing the “abhorrent” crime but a jury at the High Court in Livingston found him guilty as charged.
His sexual abuse of the primary school pupil, which began when she was five and continued until after she turned six, came to light after the youngster told her mum that Brown kept hurting her.
She described how he left her in pain and in tears after subjecting her to horrific abuse.
In a second joint investigative interview with a detective and social worker, several months after the first, the girl revealed that he had raped her and ejaculated on her clothing.
The jury was shown a video of her saying Brown had told her not to tell anyone or the police because he would go to jail.
Advocate depute Chris Wilson said in his closing remarks that the presence of large deposits of the accused’s semen on the girl’s pink leggings was “the most challenging piece of evidence for the accused to overcome”.
Mr Wilson stressed that the lengthy accounts the youngster had given of Brown’s abuse included “matters outwith the normal knowledge of a six-year-old”.
He said: “She gave an account of rape in two long interviews despite being innocent of sexual matters.”
Brown tried to blame the child’s mother for making up malicious lies about him.
But when that claim was put to her by his defence lawyer she replied: “I can’t tell a six-year-old to say what she said.”
In his closing speech, defence counsel Michael Anderson told the jury: “In a case like this where the allegations are so abhorrent it is difficult to leave one’s emotions at the door but that’s the task you have to undertake.
“These allegations are very serious and emotive but you have to take a dispassionate view of the evidence in coming to your verdict.”
He urged caution in coming to the conclusion that the forensic evidence was somehow a ‘slam dunk’ for the Crown.
Jurors rejected his suggestion that Brown was innocent and took just two and a half hours to return a unanimous verdict finding him guilty.
Brown held his head in his hands and bowed forward in the dock as the verdict was read out.
Mr Anderson said Brown recognised that a sentence of imprisonment was inevitable.
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Lady Haldane called for a criminal justice social work report before sentence and adjourned the case until 4 November at the High Court in Edinburgh, sitting in Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
She told Brown: “You have been convicted of an appalling and frankly incomprehensible crime – the rape of a six-year-old child.
“It’s inevitable that a custodial sentence will follow for a crime of such seriousness.”
She added Brown’s name to the sex offenders’ register and told him Scottish Ministers would be informed of his conviction in terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2003.