Babysitting teen, 14, who raped girl, 5, spared custody as judge says he was corrupted by internet porn
By Andrew Levy
PUBLISHED: 12:07, 3 July 2012 | UPDATED: 01:51, 4 July 2012
Spared jail: Judge Gareth Hawkesworth warned the boy that he would have been jailed for six and a half years if he had been four years older
A schoolboy raped a five-year-old girl while babysitting her after he was ‘corrupted’ by internet pornography.
The 14-year-old tied an apron around the child’s eyes and made her perform an indecent act on him as he looked after her in her home.
He was caught after the girl told her father what had happened.
The teenager, who is now 15 and is the son of a businessman, later admitted he regularly looked at hardcore pornography on a laptop at home.
He wore his school uniform in the dock at Cambridge Crown Court on Monday as Judge Gareth Hawkesworth told him he would have received a six-and-a-half year jail term if he had been an adult.
Instead, the judge imposed a three-year community order after blaming ‘the world and society’ for his exposure to porn.
Judge Hawkesworth said: ‘You have not shown any particular sexual interest in children. I’m satisfied it was impulsive and I believe you have become sexualised by your exposure to and the corruption of pornography.
‘Your exposure at such a young age has ended in tragedy. It was the fault of the world and society.’
The case has fuelled demands for stricter controls to be put in place to stop children accessing online porn.
The Daily Mail is calling for an automatic block under which adult content would be filtered out by default. Users would have to opt in to see it.
The campaign has attracted the support of Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz and Sara Payne, whose schoolgirl daughter Sarah was murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting.
Tory MP Claire Perry, leader of an all-party group of MPs campaigning against open access to porn, said the rape case proved the ‘serious negative impacts’ such images can have on children’s lives.
The Daily Mail's Block Online Porn campaign has called for the introduction of ‘opt-in’ systems, under which internet service providers would automatically block pornography unless an adult asked for it to be available.
There is growing alarm about the impact of sexual content on the internet on Britain’s children.
Just three per cent of pornographic websites require proof of age before granting access to sexually explicit material, and research suggests as many as one in three under-tens has seen pornography online.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport angered campaigners earlier this year by suggesting it was ruling out the idea of an automatic block on porn, on civil liberties grounds.
But following the Mail’s campaign, ministers have now included questions about the opt-in system in a public consultation document, launched last week on the department’s website.
‘I believe an “opt-in” model, along with better education and awareness,
would provide the best tools for parents to protect their children online,’ she
Jon Brown of the NSPCC said: ‘This case underlines why we want a system where adults have to actively opt in to get access to internet pornography.’
The schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked his victim in December after being paid £10 to take care of the girl, who lived in a neighbouring house near Cambridge.
He was interviewed by police and revealed he had regularly accessed porn on the internet at his parents’ home without their knowledge. In court he admitted raping a girl under 13.
Julia Flanagan, defending, said it was a one-off incident and no threat or
force was used. She added: ‘We have a very frightened and remorseful boy who is
very ashamed of what he has done.
'He knows it will follow him for the rest of his life.
'He is marked to some as a sexual deviant for ever.’
The victim’s father told the court he was concerned about the long-term psychological damage she will suffer.
The boy will have to register his address with police for the next two-and-a-half years.
A sexual offences prevention order was also made for five years, meaning he must not access pornography of any kind and cannot use mobile phones or computers without suitable filters to prevent viewing pornography