Teenager convicted of raping boy under 13

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A teenager has been sentenced to 12 months in custody for raping a child and two counts of attempting to rape a child.

The male youth was sentenced to three years - 12 months in custody and two years on licence - at Newry Youth Court today for rape of a child under 13 and two charges of attempted rape of a child under 13. He will also be put on the sex offenders' register for life.

Speaking after the court hearing, Detective Inspector Judith Hamill said: “The young victims, who were boys aged between nine and 13 years of age at the time of the offences, showed enormous bravery not only in coming forward to police but also seeing this trial through to a successful conclusion.

"I hope it gives them and their families some measure of comfort that the perpetrator has been found guilty."

She added: “PSNI Public Protection Branch is committed to investigating all reports of sexual offences against children and young people. Regardless of when an offence took place, we will seek to place offenders before the courts so they can be made amenable for their crimes. We have specially trained officers who will treat all victims with sensitivity and respect.

"I would continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse to come forward to police. If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, or know someone this has happened to, please contact the police service on 101.”