A teenager who admitted raping a 10-year-old girl in Exmouth in October 2018 has been jailed for seven years and two months at Bristol Crown Court.
The violent sex assault on the girl took place in the Marley Road area of Exmouth on Thursday, October 4, last year, as she walked home.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was 16 at the time he attacked the schoolgirl, pleaded guilty to the charge of rape during a retrial at Bristol Crown Court in July.
The teenager first appeared before a jury in March in relation to the more serious charges of attempted murder, rape, and choking with intention to commit rape.
At that time, the jury found the suspect not guilty to the charge of attempted murder.
He admitted strangulation and choking with intent to commit a sexual assault.
When the jury were unable to reach a majority decision in relation to the rape charge, a retrial was held on July 22, at Bristol Crown Court.
The suspect pleaded guilty to the charge of rape and he was remanded in custody until today’s sentencing.
Mrs Justice May today, November 7, sentenced the boy to seven years and two months in prison and also imposed an extended licence for an additional eight years.
The Judge also made the decision to maintain the offender’s legal right to anonymity.
Under Section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, a convicted criminal cannot be identified until they turn 18.
The teenager attacked the girl, grabbing her from behind, as she walked home in October 2018. He dragged her to a grassy bank, leaving her unconscious in a stream.
Mrs Justice May told him: “You violated her in the most cruel and ugly way.”
The court was told the teenager posed an ongoing sexual risk to young girls.
In addressing the teenager, the Judge said: “I have no doubt at all you are dangerous.”
Mrs Justice May said she had considered imposing a life sentence, saying ‘with regard to harm, it is as bad as it could get’.
She said probation reports stated the defendant presented an ongoing sexual risk to young girls.
At a trial in March the court was told the girl had been walking home when she heard someone run up behind her.
They choked her, squeezing hard, grabbed her and dragged her down a slope to a stream.
She tried to fight back, by kicking her attacker in the groin.
The court heard how the child thought she was going to die.
A passer-by heard the girl’s screams for help.
The schoolgirl’s family were alerted when a member of the public knocked on their door and told the child’s mother her daughter had been attacked.
The boy fled the scene on his bike, the jury sitting in March heard.
His parents told police he changed his clothes, and his behaviour was odd, when he returned home.
In mitigation, the jury was told the teenager had a difficult childhood, was autistic and had been seen by psychiatrists.
His defence team said the boy acted impulsively and without planning.
The court heard he has shown remorse for his actions.