Teenager sentenced for raping eight-year-old girl

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A 16-year-old boy has been sentenced to a total of six years’ custody for ‘appalling’ sexual offences against an eight-year-old girl.

Sussex Police say that the boy, from Crawley, was given six years for rape and five years for each of two sexual assaults - to run concurrently - when he appeared at Brighton Crown Court last week.

He had earlier been found guilty after a trial at Lewes Crown Court and has now been sent to a Youth Offenders’ Institution to begin serving his sentence.

Police say that the boy was aged between 14 and 15 at the time of the offences.

Judge Guy Anthony described the assaults as “appalling sexual abuse.”

The prosecution followed an investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, who worked closely with partner agencies.

Detective Constable Nicky Beard said; “This was a distressing case but it sends a message to all young people that sexual offending will be taken seriously and investigated.

“If you ever have concerns about such behaviour, please contact us on 101, and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced investigators. We can also arrange access to sources of further counselling and support.”