Teenage boy replied 'no comment' when asked about attack on girl

PUBLISHED: 16:48 28 February 2019

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A teenage boy accused of raping and attempting to murder a 10-year-old girl replied 'no comment' when asked by police about the attack.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of grabbing the girl in Exmouth, on October 4.

Bristol Crown Court heard the girl noticed footsteps running behind her before she was dragged down a bank and into a stream.

A jury has been told the boy, who was 16 at the time of the incident, admits choking the girl and sexually assaulting her.

He denies raping the girl while she was unconscious and leaving her to die in the water.

Detective Constable Joanne Rotchell, of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the court that two interviews were conducted with the boy following his arrest.

In the first, he gave background information about his life before denying that he knew the 10-year-old or her family.

When asked about the route he was cycling at the time of the attack, he replied: “No comment.”

The boy said he had changed his clothing after returning home, ate dinner and spoke to friends online before watching TV.

In the second interview, the boy again answered ‘no comment’ when asked about the route he had cycled.

He confirmed a number of CCTV images of a boy cycling in Exmouth shortly before the incident were of him.

When asked where he was when the girl was attacked, about her injuries and what happened to her, he replied: “‘No comment.”

Jurors previously heard that passers-by went to help the girl after hearing her yelling from the stream.

She told them ‘he strangled me, he strangled me, he strangled me’, the court heard.

Two forensic scientists, Neil Wilson and James Clery, provided an agreed statement to the court.

This stated it was ‘not possible to determine’ through scientific material in the case whether the girl had been raped or sexually assaulted.

The boy denies attempted murder, attempting to choke with intent to commit rape, and rape of a child under 13.

His barrister previously said the boy had inadvertently rendered the girl unconscious after they fell down the riverbank while he was restraining her around the neck.

He claimed the teenager had then sexually assaulted the girl before waiting in the area to check that she woke up.

The trial continues, and is due to last for two weeks.

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