March 2007

Our years in hell are finally over

THE family of a sadistic paedophile have spoken of their relief after he was sentenced to 14-years in prison for sexual offences against a schoolgirl.

Ian Russell (45) formerly of Clinkham Wood was convicted of six charges of rape, six of indecent assault and one of child cruelty. He has been placed on the sex offenders’ register and banned from ever working with children.

Russell started exposing himself to his victim when she was just 11 and progressed to attacks and rape. It is understood that his victim, who was beaten regularly, still suffers terrible nightmares and is terrified of Russell returning.

Russell’s mum and sister who asked not to be named, described in horrific detail the years of intimidation and fear he subjected people to, including his family. Both were forced to flee from their homes more than a year and a half ago for a secret location as his campaign of terror escalated.

His 41-year-old sister who attended every day of his trial and cheered as sentence was passed said: “14-years isn’t enough! I want everyone to know what type of person he is.”

The accusations of child abuse did not come as a surprise to Russell’s family, who have long since stopped contact with him. Both portrayed a man of incredible cruelty and viciousness who had a controlling personality

After the death of his father five-years-ago and his mum’s remarriage, the level of intimidation towards his family rose. His mum claims he made constant threats against her and even sent obscene texts.

For years their lives were kept secret from friends and family. Birthday parties were arranged behind closed doors and for four months his sister had to live in a caravan in Wales. Her children were uprooted to a new school miles away and neither had been to St Helens town centre for 2-years.

Russell’s mother who was forced to hide a hammer under her bed for protection added: “I gave him life and he has hurt so many people. How do I begin to say sorry to a young girl whose life he’s ruined?”

Both said they were relieved that people will now know his true character and what he is capable of. And they thanked Moss Bank police, Helena Housing and Dave Watts MP for their help in securing their move away from Clinkham Wood.

His sister said: “This is the real Ian Russell, not the charming person some people thought he was.”

It was a sentiment echoed by his mum: “He doesn’t deserve our family name. But I want to thank my daughter for all the love and support she has given me.”