July 2023

Man, 39, convicted of raping two schoolgirls in Fife

A sex beast forced a 12-year-old schoolgirl to change into his Rangers top before raping her at a house in Ballingry.

Steven Banks, 39, who is currently an inmate in Perth Prison, went on to sexually assault and rape another girl when she was aged between 10 and 13.

Both victims reported him to the police many years after the paedophile abused them.

However, Banks denied their allegations and forced them to relive their ordeals by giving evidence against him.

Following a trial at the High Court at Livingston, a jury returned a majority verdict on Tuesday and found him guilty of raping his first victim in the bedroom of his mother’s home in Ballingry between August and September 2011.

He was also convicted by a unanimous verdict of raping a second girl, who is now aged 19, in vehicles in Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath and elsewhere between February 2014 and February 2017.

It was only after the jury’s verdicts that it emerged that Banks is currently serving a 12-year sentence imposed four years ago for his part as a getaway driver in a £6,000 robbery at a Tesco store in Staffordshire.

Following the supermarket raid, he moved back to Fife to care for his poorly mother.

His conviction for robbery was subsequently overtaken by an investigation into the rapes, following delayed disclosure by his two accusers.

His first victim, now aged 23, gave evidence that Banks invited her to have dinner at his home with his mother, then took her up to his bedroom after his mum fell asleep on the couch.

She said: “I was extremely naïve. I didn’t think there’d be anything wrong. We sat on the double bed next to each other, pretty close. We were just talking normally like we did.”

Speaking through shuddering breaths she said: “He started to kiss me. I was kissing him back and he said that he wanted to feel my skin.

“He asked me to get changed into his Rangers top. He promised that he wouldn’t hurt me. I did change into the Rangers top.”

She continued: “I was shaking and said that I was really nervous that I wasn’t ready for anything and that’s as far as I wanted it to go.”

The victim insisted she “wasn’t ready” and told the court: “He said ‘It’s OK, we can take it slowly. I won’t hurt you’, that I’m not a little girl I’m a grown woman, that I’d be doing it at some point anyway.”

She said she was “physically shaking” before Banks removed her underwear and raped her, leaving her feeling “discarded” afterwards by acting as if nothing untoward had happened.

The accused’s second victim told how the paedophile would comfort her when she was upset and would go out of his way to ask her how she was and help her.

She said she looked on him as a “father figure” and even called him “daddy” before he sexually abused and raped her after getting her on her own.

Advocate depute Lynsey MacDonald said: “The accused took the opportunity whenever he could when he had access to these two young girls to take what he wanted. It’s your duty to convict.”

Following the verdicts, she handed over a schedule of Banks’ previous convictions and a victim impact statement from the first of his victims.

Judge Lord Young adjourned sentence until August 8 at Livingston High Court for the preparation of a criminal justice social work report.

He added Banks’ name to the sex offenders’ register.