Youngsters sentenced for 'orgy of violence'

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Four teenagers who stripped and beat a schoolgirl in a sickening 'orgy of violence in a park in the middle of the night were yesterday sentenced at the Old Bailey to youth custody.

The youths - three of them girls - beat, kicked, punched, stripped and stubbed lighted cigarettes out on the terrified 17-year-old's face and body in deserted Victoria Park, east London.

The sole male attacker, now 16, who had denied any involvement, received the longest sentence - three years in custody.

Another girl of 17, who joined in the two-hour attack in the latter stages, received two years in custody.

The youngest of the gang of four, now 15, also received two years' detention.

A 17-year-old girl who had started the attack on the teenage girl was given 27 months detention.

The court was told the teenager had become involved in charity work since the attack

11 months ago and had hopes to train as a social worker.

The Recorder of London, Sir Lawrence Verney, told the group: 'This was a horrible attack upon a young girl much the same age as yourselves.

'The girl came to court very frightened and was able, but only just able, to give her account of what had happened.

'This was an orgy of violence and a truly horrific attack on a very frightened young girl.

The Recorder added that the Home Secretary would decide where the four would spend their custodial sentences.

The court was told all four teenagers had been raised in problem homes and all were in the care of the social services at the time of the attack, last

September.

Three of the four teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, changed their pleas to guilty after the trial had started, but the 16-year-old boy was convicted of the attack.

Two other teenagers accused of taking part attack were cleared of grievous bodily harm after their defence claimed they had not been involved.

Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Sally O'Neill told the Old Bailey how the youngster was attacked in the east London park after being lured to a friend's house. She was then taken to Victoria Park

Her ordeal ended when a security guard stumbled upon the attack and the gang fled, leaving the girl crying.

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