A 14-year-old boy convicted of raping his nine-year-old neighbour and threatening to kill him if he reported the abuse has avoided detention, despite showing no remorse for his “abhorrent” crimes.
The boy, who was 13 when the two attacks occurred in Perth’s northern suburbs, was sentenced in the Children’s Court yesterday to a 12-month suspended term of imprisonment and ordered to do 60 hours of community service.
Prosecutors told the court that the boy “groomed” his younger victim over several months by befriending him and winning the trust of his parents who let them play together alone almost every day.
The first attack was described as “violent” and “premeditated”.
The victim was later warned that if he told anyone what had happened he would be hurt or killed.
On the second occasion, the victim was tricked into going into bush near his home where he was again raped and threatened.
The offender, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied carrying out the attacks but was found guilty in a trial last month of two charges of sexual penetration of a child under 13 and one count of indecent dealings.
Prosecutors yesterday called for an immediate term of imprisonment, saying the victim had been “violated in the most abhorrent way” and would be scarred by the abuse for the rest of his life.
Magistrate Stephen Vose agreed that detention was appropriate, but he suspended the sentence because of the offender’s age, troubled home life and previously clean record.
“What it means is that this sentence hangs over your head for the next 12 months,” Mr Vose warned the boy.
The case is one of several this year involving boys convicted of sexually abusing other boys.
The other cases sparked controversy after parents demanded to know why the abusers were allowed to keep attending their school.
No mention was made in court yesterday of the schooling arrangements for the boy in the latest case, but his lawyer indicated he planned to continue with his education.
As a convicted child rapist, he will go on WA’s sex offender register and will be monitored by police for the next 71/2 years.
The court also imposed a lifetime restraining order on him to prevent him from making contact with his victim or going within 100m of him.