Schoolboys launch rape conviction appeal

Cathy Gordon,Press Association
Tuesday 27 July 2010 10:03 BST

Two boys found guilty of attempting to rape a girl of eight launch challenges against their convictions today.

The pair, aged 10 and 11 when they were convicted, were among the youngest boys to be prosecuted for rape in Britain.

The schoolboys were both aged 10 last October when an eight-year-old girl complained to her mother that she was assaulted in Hayes, west London.

They were each found guilty of two charges of attempted rape by a 10-2 majority at the Old Bailey on May 24, but both were cleared of two alternative offences of rape.

They denied assaulting the girl and their barristers claimed they were just being naughty or playing a game.

After they were found guilty there were calls for how youngsters are handled by the legal system to change, with a children's charity claiming the way the case had been dealt with was "absolutely wrong".

Applications for leave to challenge their convictions are being heard by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London today.

If the boys had been younger than 10, they would have been too young to be charged. They are both now aged 11.

After the jury's verdicts they were remanded on bail for reports to be prepared.

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