Beds, Herts & Bucks

Boy detained for 'brain injury' rape in Luton

Lewsey Park Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The girl was attacked in Lewsey Park on 19 January

A 16-year-old boy who beat and raped a girl in a park in Luton, leaving her with the mental age of an eight year old, has been given a discretionary life sentence.

Luton Crown Court heard the boy, aged 15 at the time, repeatedly hit the 14 year old on the head with a bottle and kicked her at Lewsey Park in January.

He admitted rape and causing grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing.

He will serve a minimum of six and a half years in a young offenders unit.

'Sickening and abhorrent'

Emergency services were called to the park shortly before 21:00 GMT on 19 January after the girl was found unconscious.

Prosecutor Beverly Cripps told the court the boy was armed with a knife when the pair met in the park. Soon after he carried out the "ferocious" attack.

After beating her he dragged her to a quiet area of the park before raping her, she said.

The boy - who was known to his victim - then took her mobile phone to make it look as though she had been mugged, the court was told.

The court heard the girl's family was told by doctors she could die after she underwent three brain operations.

She now has a mental age of eight and uses a wheelchair.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The girl needs to use a wheelchair as a result of the attack

Judge Michael Kay QC set a tariff of 14 years, which means the boy will be able to apply for parole after six and a half years.

The boy's plea of not guilty to attempted murder was accepted by the prosecution.

Judge Kay said: "Even the most case-hardened judge can be confronted with a set of facts that still have the capability to shock. This is one such case."

Describing his actions as "sickening and abhorrent", the judge told the teenager: "I predict you will spend considerably longer in custody than the minimum term."

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