Two boys aged 10 and 11 have been convicted of attempted rape based solely on the accusations of an 8-year-old girl, despite the girl withdrawing her claims in court, and there being no physical evidence of any assault. Both children are to become registered sex offenders.
The boys, then both aged 10, were accused by an 8-year-old girl of taking to various locations in their London neighbourhood and raping her. The boys denied the accusations.
The incident came to light when the girl’s mother was told by another child that the boys were hurting the girl – she soon found her daughter with the boys in a nearby field.
When first questioning the girl, police had her tell them how the boys had pulled down her underwear and had their way with her. However, when questioned in court, the girl explicitly denied being raped and said she had lied to her mother about what had happened as she was worried about being a naughty girl and not getting any sweets.
The defence also pointed out that there was “no useful medical evidence, no DNA evidence and no forensic evidence; nothing” available to support the charges, save the girl’s accusations.
The court even made a crude show of attempting to make the proceedings intelligible to the children, with the judge and lawyers abandoning their ludicrous wigs and gowns for the occasion, and the court timetable being rearranged to resemble that of a primary school.
The defence appealed the common sense of the jury, suggesting the incident was nothing more than an innocent childhood game gone awry:
“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’.
Maybe it went too far, maybe it went to touching, maybe they were doing something they had seen on television, maybe they were playing that age-old game, doctors and nurses.”
Unfortunately, the jury had none, voting 10 to 2 in favour of convicting both boys of two counts each of attempted rape. Sentencing is due in two months, during which time the boys have been released on bail.
They will also become registered sex offenders, although the judge lamely admitted he was “not quite sure” how that would work.