Woman ‘raped as baby slept in same bed’

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the rape claims. Picture: Bill Henry
The High Court in Edinburgh heard the rape claims. Picture: Bill Henry
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A WOMAN has told how she was raped in a caravan by a man as his baby son slept in the same bed.

The 40-year-old mother told a court that she was around seven years old when the alleged attack by John McCallum took place at a travellers’ site in Duddingston.

She said that businessman McCallum abused her between the ages of five and 13, forcing her to carry out sex acts in his van and lorry.

McCallum, 53, went on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, accused of raping and molesting her and another girl in offences dating back to 1978 and continuing until 1987.

The first victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that she often stayed with McCallum and his wife at the North Cairntow caravan site as a youngster.

She said that she was around five when McCallum, then 19, first began touching her private parts on the 
caravan’s bed. The woman then described being raped in the caravan while McCallum’s wife had gone outside to a nearby outhouse.

She told the court that she was watching TV on the bed when McCallum locked the door and climbed on top of her as his son slept beside them. She added: “I was crying. I just wanted it to stop. Afterwards he said I was a special girl and it was our secret.”

The woman said that McCallum was working laying tarmac around this time, and she would accompany him at the age of six or seven in his lorry when he priced jobs.

She said that McCallum would “pull up and take his trousers down” before telling her to perform a sex act. She told the court: “It happened quite a lot. It went on for years.”

The jury heard that McCallum and his wife later moved into a house in Paradykes Avenue in Loanhead, Midlothian.

The woman said that McCallum continued to molest her in the home and in his van, which he used to sell logs. She said that McCallum would stop the vehicle and force her to carry out a sex act when she was 12 or 13.

Asked by advocate depute Lesley Shand QC why she never told anyone about the abuse as a youngster, she said: “It was a secret, it was our secret. He said no-one would believe me.”

The woman said she finally went to police in May last year along with the other alleged victim to report the abuse.

The first person she told about her ordeals was a doctor while she was in her 20s, and she later went through 
counselling sessions.

Under cross examination by defence counsel Frances McMenamin QC, she agreed that she told police that both McCallum’s infant daughter and his son were in the caravan’s bed when she was raped.

She added: “I have a clear memory of that man being on top of me. I know what that man did to me.”

She also agreed that she went to McCallum’s bed shop in Straiton, Midlothian four years ago to look at buying a bed.

McCallum is charged with forcing her to carry out sex acts and molesting her between August 1978 and August 1987 in caravans in North Cairntow and Clerk Street, and a home in Paradykes Avenue in Loanhead. He is alleged to have raped her between August 1980 and August 1982 in North Cairntow.

McCallum allegedly abused the second victim between August 1978 and August 1987 in the same locations, forcing her to perform sex acts and molesting her. He allegedly raped her between August 1979 and August 1980 in Clerk Street.

McCallum, of Straiton Road, Loanhead, denies the charges.

The trial before Lord Boyd continues.