Mum of victim let abuser back into her home

Court heard mum allowed accused back into her home.
Court heard mum allowed accused back into her home.

A mum has admitted allowing the man who abused her six-year-old daughter to return to the family home in Motherwell.

The woman pretended to relatives that charges against James Smith had been dropped.

However, Smith was actually on bail awaiting trial and eventually he was sent to prison for four years and eight months for child abuse and breaching bail conditions.

Now his 25-year-old girlfriend, who cannot be named, has appeared in the dock at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

She admitted exposing her daughter to the risk of sexual harm by allowing Smith (32) to return to her home in Motherwell last year in breach of his bail conditions.

Smith, formerly of Cultenhove Crescent, Grangemouth, was convicted at the same court earlier this year of abusing the girl and also abusing the four-year-old son of a woman he was seeing in Falkirk in 2012.

The court heard he met both women through a dating website.

After the offence in Falkirk came to light, Smith was given bail and ordered to stay away from children. However, he met up with the woman in Motherwell in 2014, moved into her home and abused her daughter.

Again he was given bail to await trial and it was during this period that the woman let him back to live with her, the abuse victim and another young child.

Lauren McRobert, prosecuting, told the court today that the little Motherwell girl and her young brother were put on a child protection register after Smith was charged with abusing her.

Later they were taken off the register, but social workers continued to have regular contact with the family, checking Smith was staying away.

The woman assured them repeatedly he was not living with her and allowed her sister’s children to stay overnight at her house.

Her sister was then told by one of her children that Smith had been in the house. When the woman confronted her sister about this she was told the charges against Smith had been thrown out.

It was only when she saw press coverage of the trial that she realised he had been convicted of abuse.

The horrified woman asked her children if Smith had done anything to them when they stayed overnight, but they said no. She confronted her sister who apologised for deceiving her and other family members. She said she loved Smith.

When the police questioned her, the mother of the abuse victim admitted she’d allowed Smith to return despite the bail conditions.

She also told officers she had allowed him unsupervised contact with her daughter and son. She had ordered her daughter not to tell anyone Smith was living with them.

Sheriff David Bicket called for background reports on the woman and deferred sentence until August 26. She was allowed to remain on bail.