Judge's warning as boy commits rape after accessing pornography through Playstation

The Oxford Times: Judge Mary Jane Judge Mary Jane

A JUDGE has warned about the dangerous impact of internet pornography watched through computer games consoles after a 14-year-old committed a “copycat” rape.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat drew attention to the problem after dealing with the case at Oxford Crown Court this week.

The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, imitated pornographic acts he had watched using the website access on his Playstation 3.

The court heard how the teenager used threats and violence to make an 11-year-old boy perform a sex act on him. Now aged 15, he admitted one count of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of assault.

This behaviour took place on five occasions and the boy also admitted sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

The three children lived near each other in the same Oxfordshire village and the offences came to light on July 28 last year.

The 11-year-old told his friends what had happened and they went to the young victim’s parents. In a police interview, the accused admitted he committed the offences after imitating scenes from internet pornography, which he watched on his Playstation games console.

Judge Mowat said despite the legal guidelines it would be “utterly inappropriate” to imprison the teenager.

She added such incidents of copycat sexual behaviour were becoming more common among children.

Judge Mowat said: “As is so often the case, he had the idea from watching pornography on his Playstation.

“It seems to be almost inevitable now that all children from their early teens upwards will have access to these things, no matter how the parents try to keep them away from them.

“They see this sort of thing and they learn from it and they are influenced by it.

“My principal task is to ensure that this boy doesn’t do this sort of thing again as he gets older.”

Graham Bennett, defending, said that, both physically and in his emotional state, the defendant was immature for his age.

Mr Bennett said: “The two boys were peers, friends of similar age who would play together.

“The boys would be in a bedroom playing on a Playstation and the offending took place in the confines of the bedroom.”

The court heard that the crimes had shocked the local community and the defendant’s family were planning to move away from the area.

Judge Mowat sentenced the boy to a three-year youth rehabilitation order with a supervision requirement and also made an order barring him from contacting his victims.

Speaking after the hearing, Natalie Brook, a manager at Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, said proper regulation was needed to prevent children accessing online pornography.

She said: “More extreme porn is widely available online and is accessed by young people at younger and younger ages, often in place of sex education.

“There is a lot of evidence about the unhealthy impact it has on men and boys’ attitudes to women and girls, including an unrealistic and sometimes dangerous view of sexual relationships, development of pro-rape attitudes and tolerance of sexual violence.”

Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre can be contacted on 0800 783 6294 or via oxfordrapecrisis.net

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