Boy sex attacker 'tipped over edge by computer porn'

A BOY of 13 who attempted to rape a six-year-old girl had been 'tipped over the edge' by computer pornography, his lawyer told the court.

The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was put under a two-year supervision order after the court heard he was too young for a custodial sentence.

Peter Jones, for the prosecution, told a youth court at Wrexham, Clwyd, that the boy attacked the girl as he walked her home after being out playing. Mr Jones said: 'He led her to some bushes on a field where the offence took place. Afterwards he ordered her not to tell anyone what had happened and the girl ran home sobbing. At first she was unable to tell her parents what took place, but when she did the police were called in.'

He said the boy was interviewed and admitted the attack, adding that he had intended to have sexual intercourse with the girl.

Stephen Edwards, for the defence, told the court the boy had been pressurised into believing he was 'abnormal' if he wasn't having sex with a girlfriend, adding he had an 'unhealthy interest' in pornographic pictures, either in magazines or stored on computer disks.

Mr Edwards said the defendant thought it was normal to have sex with girls of his age and younger. The pornographic material just 'tipped him over the edge'.

But Dr Estela Welldon, a consultant psychiatist at the Portman Clinic in London, an NHS outpatients unit dealing with deviancy, criminality and abuse, told the Independent that medical opinion is not convinced there is a causal link between pornography and sexual crime.

Dr Welldon believed it more significant that the boy chose a victim much younger than himself. It was more interesting to look at the violence in the incident than the sexual nature of the offence, she said.

She said if the pornography had stimulated him to want sexual experience, he could have found somebody of his own age for a relationship. But significantly, he chose instead a much younger girl, somebody easily at his mercy, so that he was controlling what happened.

Increasingly over the past decade, as children have had remote controls for television, and computers, is they have grown used to being in control, she said. This tendancy was exacerbated where children were not also getting emotional contact with their families to counter the effect.

'That is what is causing this boy to need to be so much in control of this situation. It is not so much the content of what he is watching.'

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