Schoolboy guilty of racial abuse

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A teenage boy who bombarded a schoolgirl with racist abuse, driving her to the brink of suicide, has been convicted in a landmark court case.

The 15-year-old was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment after a trial at Lincoln magistrates' court.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced next month. Another 15-year-old accused of the same offence was found not guilty.

During the trial it was revealed that the girl had suffered months of racist abuse from her fellow pupil, including being called racist names, which led her to consider suicide.

Giving evidence by video-link, the girl told the court that the abuse had made her "want to die" and had left her so traumatised that she had taken a mixture of stress pills and painkillers in January before writing a note telling her family that she did not want a "sad funeral".

The boy sang racist chants such as "White, white, white is right, kick them out, fight, fight, fight," and on one occasion told her: "Go back to your own country, you don't belong here."

The case is the first time a pupil has been convicted of racially aggravated harassment against a student from the same school.

Raymond Wildsmith, for the prosecution, said that he had insulted her "again and again and again".

Jaswant Narwal, the chief Crown Prosecutor for Lincolnshire, said: "This is a sad case where a young girl who was so distressed that she attempted to end her life as a result of racial bullying in school.

"We would like to thank the victim for her courage in coming forward and strongly encourage other young people in the same situation to report to the police when they have been targets of a campaign of racial bullying."