Devon

Teenage boy jailed for raping 10-year-old girl in Exmouth

Exmouth crime scene
Image caption The girl was grabbed around the throat and dragged down an embankment into a stream

A teenage boy who raped a 10-year-old girl and left her unconscious in a ditch has been sentenced to seven years and two months in prison.

The girl was grabbed around the throat and dragged into a stream by the 17-year-old as she walked home from school in Exmouth, Devon in October last year.

He raped her after she fell unconscious, Bristol Crown Court heard.

The judge told the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, he "violated her in the most ugly and cruel way".

The court heard the girl had taken her phone out to call her mother when she heard footsteps behind her.

The boy ran up and grabbed her, throwing her phone into nearby bushes.

Members of the public heard the girl calling out and helped her from the stream, with the police called a short time later.

The defendant fled the scene but was arrested the following day on 5 October.

Image caption A doctor described the rape as "the worst case she had ever seen"

Mrs Justice May said the 17-year-old had told a psychiatrist he was "angry, full of resentment and wanted to cause damage" to another person.

"After raping her, you stayed for a short while before leaving her in that state - half in and half out of the water, soaking wet," she said.

A doctor described the rape as "the worst case she had ever seen".

Devon and Cornwall Police said the case had an impact on everyone involved, including the investigation team, most of whom are parents themselves.

"It is worth reflecting upon how the community of Exmouth came together in response to what was a genuinely shocking incident," Supt Matt Lawler added.

A jury acquitted the boy of a charge of attempted murder following a trial in March - they were unable to reach a verdict on the rape charge.

The teenager admitted that charge during a retrial in July, as well as choking the girl with intent to commit sexual assault and sexual assault.

Mrs Justice May imposed an extended sentence, meaning the boy will have to serve a minimum of nearly five years before release.

He will also be subject to strict conditions for a further eight years.

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