January 2019

Babysitter sexually assaulted girl, 8, as alcoholic mum drank downstairs

A babysitter has been convicted of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl.

Vile David Knox, 23, attacked the youngster in an upstairs bedroom while his alcoholic mum drank downstairs, a jury heard.

The girl’s younger sister, then aged six, walked into the room during the sick act and bravely gave evidence against him.

A jury at the High Court in Livingston took three and a half hours to return a unanimous verdict finding the accused guilty of the historic offence.

An allegation that he attempted to rape the schoolgirl was deleted.

Knox, of Larbert, Stirlingshire, was cleared of raping and attempting to rape the older girl between 2010 and 2011.

He was also acquitted of two counts of sexually abusing the younger sister in 2010.

He had originally denied a total of 11 charges, nine of them sexual and the remaining two involving possession of drugs.

Advocate depute Murdoch McTaggart told the jury in his closing speech that the alleged sexual incidents had happened around the same time within a short period of time either at Knox’s home or the home of the sisters’ family.

“They happened in situations where David Knox was babysitting the children,” he said.

“Even if there were adults present he was supervising them.”

Referring to the sexual assault, he said: “The sister interrupted David Knox. The girl said David Knox was trying to have sex with her on that occasion.

“Because of other circumstances in these two chaotic households she’s going to be confused about surrounding incidents., perhaps an indication of just two girls trying to cast their minds back to a very traumatic incident.”

Judge Lady Carmichael called for social work background reports and deferred sentence on Knox until 27th February High Court in Edinburgh.

She added his name to the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect and told him the Scottish Government would be notified of his conviction under legislation to protect vulnerable groups.

She added: “I do wish to be fully informed about the background here. It was clearly indicated in the evidence that there were potential difficulties.

“I will continue your bail in the meantime though you must not take it as any indication of the eventual sentence.”