A schoolboy’s rape of a very young girl has been blamed on the “corruption of pornography” by a Crown Court judge.
The boy was 14 when he raped the girl who he was meant to be babysitting. She was just 4-years-old.
In an interview with police the unnamed boy said he regularly watched hardcore pornography on a laptop at home without his parents’ knowledge.
Judge Gareth Hawkesworth told the boy: “I’m satisfied it was impulsive and I believe you have become sexualised by your exposure to and the corruption of pornography.”
Judge Hawkesworth added: “Your exposure at such a young age has ended in tragedy”. He also commented that it was the fault of “the world and society”.
The NSPCC said: “This case underlines why we want a system where adults have to actively opt in to get access to internet pornography.”
The judge applied a community order and a five-year sexual offences prevention order to the boy, who is now 15.
But his ruling has faced criticism, with the girl’s mother telling The Sun newspaper that she was “shocked” when the boy did not receive a custodial sentence.
She said: “The sentence isn’t enough. He should be punished”.
Conservative MP Nick de Bois also criticised the judge’s decision, commenting: “A 14-year-old knows what is right and what is wrong. This shocking act should have been punished with a detention and training order at least.”
Last month the Government launched a consultation on how to protect children from adult content online.
One of several options being considered is whether internet pornography should be automatically blocked on computers.
It follows a campaign for such a system amid concern about child sexualisation and the easy availability of pornography.