British boys attempted to rape girl, 8: court

24th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Two British boys aged 11 and 10 were found guilty Monday of attempting to rape an eight-year-old girl, having been cleared of rape after the girl admitted some of her evidence had not been truthful.

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 both aged 10 at the time, had denied assaulting the girl, with their lawyers claimed they were just being naughty or playing a game.

The judge, John Saunders, refused the lawyers' pleas to dismiss the case after the girl made the admission about her evidence, saying it was up to the jury to decide if the witness could be trusted.

At the Old Bailey in London, England's central criminal court, prosecutor Rosina Cottage said the boys "took her 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.

In her police video interview, the girl, holding a teddy bear, said the boys offered to take her to her friend's home in the flats.

In the hallway, "they pulled their pants down", she said.

"Then they pulled my pants down. I didn't want to and then they put me into the lift and then they done it again."

Defence lawyer Linda Strudwick had told the jurors: "What this case is about is not a serious crime. It is about children. There is a game called 'You show me yours and I will show you mine'.

Both boys were ordered to register as sex offenders. They were bailed pending reports. Saunders said he could not give any indication about sentencing.

© 2010 AFP

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