Girl denies 'flirtation' with soldier

A WOMAN who has accused a soldier of “grooming” her for sex was in love and wanted a relationship with him, it has been claimed.

Anthony Bond

A WOMAN who has accused a soldier of “grooming” her for sex was in love and wanted a relationship with him, it has been claimed.

Simon Russell, 41, is accused of befriending the girl when she was 12 and over the next five years allegedly progressed from talking to her about sex and kissing her to having sex with her and on two occasions raping her.

Earlier in the trial the girl claimed that Russell, who was based at RAF Honington, had started sexually abusing her when she was 12 by pushing her up against a wall and kissing her on the lips. The prosecution also claim that when she was 14 he started touching her body indecently and the following year he allegedly had sex with her for the first time. Russell has denied having a sexual relationship with her until after her 16th birthday.

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In court yesterdaythe girl denied claims by Juliet Donovan, representing Russell, that she was lying about these incidents.

She also denied being “flirtatious” and “forward” with him.

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“I would not say that I was forward” the girl replied.

Miss Donovan responded: “It was him that was putting you at a distance wasn't it?

“No” the girl replied.

The court also heard yesterdaythat the girl, now 20, and who cannot be named for legal reasons, sent Russell sexually explicit pictures of herself.

Miss Donovan claimed the girl had a crush on Russell which, once she turned 16, “grew to love and infatuation”.

“It is right that your relationship grew from infatuation to love to this clandestine sexual relationship and you were sending text messages to him and pictures of yourself,” said Miss Donovan.

The girl replied: “If I did do that then it is because he asked me to do it.”

Miss Donovan also told the court that the girl had sent Russell a hipflask in August 2007 with a personal message from her written on it.

“You sent him that hipflask because you were in love with him,” said Miss Donovan. The girl replied that she was told to send it to him.

Earlier in the trial the court heard how eight pictures of girls under the age of 16 were discovered by police on Russell's computer.

Angela Rafferty, prosecuting, said the discovery of indecent images of children on Russell's computer showed that he had an interest in girls under the age of 16.

Russell has denied four offences of indecent 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 another schoolgirl.

During police interviews Russell denied having a sexual relationship with the first girl until after her 16th birthday and said that she had fancied him and “pushed herself” on him.

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

The trial continues today.

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