Girl killed herself after family rape

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A TEENAGER whose younger sister killed herself after being raped by him was yesterday ordered to be detained for four years under the Children and Young Persons' Act.

Judge Morgan Hughes, sitting at Mold Crown Court, told Peter John Clay, 17, that where a brother raped his younger sister to gratify his own sexual desires the public interest demanded a custodial sentence of some length, both as a punishment and a deterrent to others.

'The rape of a young girl is always serious and almost inevitably causes the victim distress, as it did here. The psychological effects are so often severe and long-lasting.

'Where the offence is committed by another member of the victim's family, then very often the family itself is torn. Loyalties are divided and stability damaged. Although you could not have contemplated or anticipated the tragic actions of your sister last month, they nonetheless have occurred.'

The judge told Clay the knowledge that his actions were at least a contributory cause was a punishment in itself. 'I accept that you will never forget or be without the consequences.' He also took into consideration the fact that custody would be harsh and difficult to bear.

Julie Clay was 13 when she took an overdose three days after her brother had pleaded not guilty to two rape charges. Her body was found in lavatories at Sutton High School, Wirral, on 2 November.

Last Friday, Clay, of Greenfield Road, Little Sutton, changed his plea and admitted the rape counts in addition to an incest charge he already admitted.

The court was told that the offences took place when Clay returned to live in the same house as his sister after a period at another address. He began indecently assaulting her and raped her twice.

His counsel John Philpots said he was younger than his calendar years, and would have to live with the burden of what had happened all his life. He was full of remorse.

Derek Halbert, for the prosecution, told the court there was no conclusive evidence that the rape offences were the sole reason for Julie's death.

Clay's mother was in court to see him sentenced yesterday. She is said to be standing by him.