Boy, 12, held on suspicion of raping young girl

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of rape, police said last night. The boy was taken into custody in Paisley after allegedly attacking a girl, also aged 12, on Saturday.

It is understood that the two children were part of a larger group of youths who had been drinking.

Police were made aware of the alleged assault on Saturday, and arrested the suspect at an undisclosed location in the Renfrewshire town.

It has been claimed that an adult was persuaded to buy alcohol for the group, who then shared it with the 12-year-olds.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “A 12-year-old has been arrested.

“He is due to appear in court at a later date in connection with an alleged indecent assault in Paisley on Saturday, April 23.”

Specific details of the location have been withheld due to the sensitive nature of the case. The 12-year-old suspect was said to attend a local secondary school.

Local politicians reacted with horror to the incident.

Gordon McCaskill, standing as a Tory candidate in Paisley for the Holyrood elections, said of the alleged rape: “The whole story sounds absolutely appalling … it’s so unusual it’s difficult to make any comment whatsoever.”

Mr McCaskill, who served with the police for three decades, said local officers would be horrified by the nature of the allegations.

He added that alcohol, particularly older people buying it for underage drinkers, was seen as an issue locally.

Eileen McCartin, a Liberal Democrat councillor and prospective MSP for Paisley, said she would raise the issue with the relevant authorities.

She said: “My heart goes out to the child concerned. I think it’s a terribly traumatic thing to happen.

“In my council role, convener of the community family care board, I’ll be contacting the director of social work to check out what he knows so far, and to put in place immediately any issues we can, or support mechanisms.

“Clearly we don’t know more about it yet, but it disgusts me to hear anything like that happening in Paisley or anywhere else.”

If found guilty of the allegations, the boy would be one of the youngest people convicted of rape in Scottish history.

In 2009, Steven Goddard was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of sexually assaulting a four-year-old while he himself was aged just 12. The campaign of rape and sexual abuse continued for several years, involving several young victims before Goddard’s conviction at 17.

In 2004, 12-year-old Kyle Abdo, of Liverpool, was found guilty of raping a nine-year-old girl while he was still aged 11.

The assault took place at his house during a game of hide and seek. The judge lifted naming restrictions on Abdo, who is believed to be the youngest person convicted of rape in Britain.

In 2008, another boy was convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl near Newcastle while he was aged 11. He had drunk four cans of lager and two miniature bottles of vodka before the assault, the court heard. He had previously been exposed to pornography and physical abuse himself. His name was withheld for legal reasons.

In 2008, an eight-year-old boy was quizzed by police in Suffolk over an alleged rape after a girl, also aged less than 10, accused him of attacking her.

He was too young to charge, and reports at the time quoted police sources saying that the case would have lacked sufficient evidence for a prosecution regardless of the ages.