Boys, 11, sentenced for attempted rape of girl, 8
Two boys aged 11 were sentenced Wednesday to three years' supervision after being found guilty of attempting to rape an eight-year-old girl in Britain.
The children, who cannot be named, had been playing together in Hayes, west London, in October last year, when the incident occurred.
The boys, who were 10 at the time, denied assaulting the girl, with their lawyers claiming they were just being naughty or playing a game.
Judge John Saunders rejected such claims as he passed sentence.
"I do not accept that what happened was a game but I do accept that you did not realise how serious what you were doing was," he said.
However, sending them to prison would be "counter-productive" and not in their best interests, he said.
A jury found the boys guilty of two charges each of attempted rape but cleared them of rape.
"The jury decided that you did something very wrong which if you had been older would have very serious consequences for you," Saunders said.
"Because you are so young, the court is mainly concerned with doing what is best for you with the aim of ensuring that you do not do anything like it again.
"That means you must be helped to understand the seriousness of what happened.
"The best way to achieve this is to give you the assistance of trained social workers to help, guide and educate you. This will also help your family come to terms with what happened."
At the Old Bailey in London, England's central criminal court, prosecutor Rosina Cottage had said the boys took the girl "to different locations near where they lived in order to find a sufficiently secluded spot to assault her."
The girl was assaulted in a block of flats, a rubbish bin shed and a field.
Her mother told the court she had found her daughter with the boys near a field after another child said the boys were hurting her.
The boys may be the youngest to sign the sex offenders' register.
Saunders said he hoped the girl "will be given all the help that she undoubtedly deserves to get over her experiences."
© 2010 AFP