Devon

Exmouth rape: Accused teen 'checked news' when he got home

Exmouth crime scene
Image caption The court heard the teenager left the girl in a stream before going home to check the news

A 16-year-old boy accused of raping and attempting to murder a 10-year-old girl checked the news after the attack.

The teenager left the girl in a stream before going home to see if a body had been found in Exmouth, Devon, on 4 October last year, a court heard.

The boy, now aged 17, admits choking and sexually assaulting the girl but denies rape and attempted murder.

Bristol Crown Court was told he "thought she was dead and he meant for her to be dead".

Anna Vigars QC, prosecuting, told the court that the boy attacked the girl "in the most frightening way possible" by running up behind her and grabbing her throat.

He then took the girl to a nearby riverbank, continuing the pressure on her neck, and kept his face hidden until she fell unconscious.

"He thought he had done what he set out to do to her, which was to kill her," Ms Vigars said.

She described the defendant's account of slipping down a bank and accidentally rendering her unconscious while restraining her as "nonsense".

The boy claims that he checked to see if the girl was breathing after the attack and watched her wake up from behind a tree.

Image caption The prosecution told the court that the teenager checked to see if a body had been found

When he got home he checked the news to see if the attack had been reported.

"The only thing that could possibly get to the news website that fast was a murdered child, a body being found," Ms Vigars said.

Richard Smith QC, defending, said the boy had been in "turmoil" the night before the attack.

"In an impulsive blurt of emotion he decided to inflict on her some of the emotional hurt and heartache he was feeling," he said.

The teenager denies attempted murder, attempting to choke with intent to commit rape, and rape of a child under 13.

The trial continues.

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