16-year-old charged with rape and attempted murder of 10-year-old girl who was found in a 'state of distress'
The girl had been found in a state of distress by a concerned member of the public who took her back to her home
Authorities in the UK have revealed that a 16-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder and rape of a 10-year-old girl in Exmouth, Devon. It was reported that the teen appeared before a youth court in Exeter on October 8. The alleged attack took place in the Marley Road area of the seaside town on October 4. The teen has since been remanded in detention and is set to appear before a district judge on October 11 in Plymouth. The boy only spoke in the court to confirm that he understood the proceedings during the hearing that lasted only 10 minutes. The Devon and Cornwall Police have issued a statement that warned people not to identify the teen or the alleged pre-teen victim on social media.
The Guardian reported that the alleged victim had been found in a state of distress by a concerned member of the public who took her back to her home. The Devon and Cornwall Police's major crimes department has now launched an investigation into the alleged incident.
The department said: "Anyone who is alleged to be a victim of a sexual crime is automatically granted anonymity for life, regardless of their age and regardless of the outcome of any subsequent criminal trial. Any suspect under the age of 18 is also by law not allowed to be identified. These rules are not solely for media organizations to adhere to, they also apply to members of the public and includes information posted via social media."
"This may be seen as interfering with a live investigation and an active criminal trial, and therefore could see those who do not adhere found in contempt of court. This means that they would find themselves called before a judge and landed with a criminal record. We, therefore, remind the public that it is vital that they do not speculate on the identity of either the victim or the suspect in this case. We will be publishing a further update via our media channels following today’s hearing."
#ExmouthAssault Update following this morning’s court hearing: The 16-year-old suspect has been held in remand until his next appearance in Plymouth on Thursday. @SuptMattLawler wishes to thank the local community and also has a short update on the victim. https://t.co/4WRbnhi6Cj pic.twitter.com/tIbb2mkJtX— DevonCornwall Police (@DC_Police) October 8, 2018
Superintendent Matt Lawler of the Devon and Cornwall Police spoke to reporters after the hearing and said: "We are able to confirm that the little girl at the center of all our thoughts has now been discharged from hospital and is being cared for by her family. I would also like to recognize the exceptional care she has received from the specialist staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, and the close support provided by our specialist family liaison officers, which will continue in the months ahead."
He continued: "The family has asked me to say on their behalf that 'we would like to thank the community for their help and understanding in the ongoing police investigation. But, we respectfully request privacy while we try to come to terms with what has happened'."
He added: "Exmouth Police will be outside a number of schools this morning to give advice, answer questions, and provide reassurance to children and parents."