Court: Soldier 'groomed girl for sex'

A RETRIAL has started in the case of a Suffolk soldier accused of grooming a schoolgirl for sex.

A RETRIAL has started in the case of a Suffolk soldier accused of grooming a schoolgirl for sex.

Simon “Jack” Russell, who was based at RAF Honington, befriended the girl when she was 12 and over the next five years allegedly progressed from kissing her to having sex with her and on two occasions raping her, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Charles Myatt, prosecuting said Russell initially asked the girl how old she wanted to be when she lost her virginity and told her he would “get kicked out” of the army if anyone knew what they were talking about.

He also warned her that if she said anything to her parents they wouldn't believe her and would probably throw her out of the house.

Russell allegedly started sexually abusing the girl when she was 12 by pushing her up against a wall and kissing her on the lips.

When she told him to leave her alone he allegedly told her, “You could learn to like this”.

Most Read

When the girl was 14 Russell allegedly started touching her body indecently and the following year had sex with her for the first time.

“This man was systematically grooming this young girl. He was manipulating her into a position where he was able to control her and make her do what he wanted her to do,” said Mr Myatt.

Subsequently Russell had allegedly raped the girl on two occasions and when she screamed he allegedly told her to be quiet, said Mr Myatt.

He also alleged that when the girl was 18 Russell persuaded her to take part in a “threesome” with him and another woman in a country lane in the Stowmarket area.

The alleged offences came to light when the girl's boyfriend found text messages from Russell on her mobile telephone and she told him what Russell had allegedly done to her.

The police were contacted and when officers examined Russell's computer they discovered eight indecent images of girls under the age of 16.

They also discovered that Russell had allegedly indecently exposed him to another schoolgirl when he stripped naked and asked her to take a photograph of him.

He had also allegedly made the same girl watch a sex video with him.

Russell, 42 has denied four offences of indecently assault, three offences of sexual activity with a child and two offences of rape in relation to one girl and offences of indecent exposure and causing a child to watch a sex video in relation to the other girl.

The court has heard that he has admitted having eight indecent images of children on his computer.

During police interviews Russell denied having a sexual relationship with the first girl until after her 16th birthday.

He told officers that she had fancied him and had initiated their sexual relationship.

He denied indecently exposing himself to the other schoolgirl and said she had got hold of the sex video and had watched it herself.

The trial continues today .