A LOCHGELLY farm worker is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of raping a six-year-old girl who was in his care.

Tractor driver Ian Brown, 35, of Dundas Street, had denied committing the “abhorrent” crime but a jury at the High Court in Livingston found him guilty as charged.

The abuse took place at a property in Cardenden.

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 licked and kissed her “flower” – her name for her private parts – and went on to penetrate her sexually with his penis and a black and gold sex toy.

She said: “His finger was right in my flower. It made me cry. He hurt me instead. Eight times.”

She also revealed that Brown asked her to “bite his willie”.

In a second joint investigative interview with a detective and social worker several months after the first, she 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.

READ MORE: Lochgelly man accused of raping young child

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”.

He reminded the jury that Brown had told them it got there because he’d wiped himself with dirty laundry which lay in a pile at the bottom of their bed after having sex with his partner.

Brown claimed in evidence that he must have taken the youngster’s pink leggings from washing because she changed in the privacy of the bedroom before bedding down for the night on a couch in the living room.

However, his girlfriend gave conflicting evidence, revealing that the dirty laundry was kept in her kitchen, which was where police carrying out a search of the property found the youngster's semen-stained clothes.

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 31-year-old mother for making up malicious lies about him to stop him from seeing her child.

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.”

Brown claimed the child had found the sex toy in a bedroom drawer three weeks before his arrest and asked him what it was, but he never mentioned that in his police interview.

The girl’s mum said her daughter had “zero knowledge of sex toys” and the youngster’s head teacher testified that she had had no sex education in school.

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.

Lady Haldane called for a criminal justice social work report before sentence and adjourned the case until November 4 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.