Royal Wootton Bassett teenager to be sentenced in youth court after admitting rape

A judge has decided a teenager who raped one girl and sexually assaulted two others should be sentenced by magistrates in the youth court.

The 15-year-old boy, from Royal Wootton Bassett, had been accused of raping two girls during the spring of this year.

But the lad pleaded guilty to one of the allegations of rape and admitted a lesser charge of sexual assault against the other victim.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked for a further matter of sexual activity with a child to be taken into consideration when he is sentenced.

After hearing representation from his solicitor and prosecutors, Judge Douglas Field decided the case would be better dealt with at the magistrates' court.

Chris Oswald, defending, urged him to remit it back to the youth court saying their maximum sentence of two years custody was adequate.

He said the matter was committed to the crown court by a the district judge when there were two counts of rape against different girls.

Now his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity he was entitled to a one third discount on his sentence.

Mr Oswald pointed out that a case should be in the lower court unless the sentence would be 'considerably more than two years'.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, asked the judge to keep the case in the crown court for sentence.

She said: "It is two complainants, though one is for sexual assault, and there is also the matter to be taken into consideration.

"The sentencing range for adults, as Your Honour well knows, is high. What the guidelines say is a realistic possibility of it coming below two years for the youth court.

"There is a pattern of offending here, it is not a one-off. It would be my submission in the circumstances the court should retain jurisdiction."

Judge Field said: "He is only 15. The sentencing of someone who is 15, for this sort of offence, is completely different to that of one who is an adult.

"I think I am persuaded to remit this to the magistrates. I am going to order full reports in your case which will be prepared by the Youth Offending Team." He released the teenager, who will be 16 years old by the time he is sentenced on Tuesday January 14, on conditional bail until then.

The boy was told he must not contact the victims, live and sleep at his home, and observe a night time curfew.

He admitted sexually assaulting one 15-year-old girl in March and then raping another between Thursday April 4 and Sunday April 7.

The defendant was also told he must register as a sex offender, the total period he must continue to do so will be determined by the ultimate sentence imposed.

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