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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Girl admits woods assault on boy
Woods at Earlsheaton
The woods at Earlsheaton where the atttack took place
A 12-year-old girl has admitted causing actual bodily harm to a five-year-old boy who was allegedly hung from a tree in West Yorkshire.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, injured the boy in woods in Dewsbury on 31 May.

She appeared before Dewsbury Youth Court on Monday.

At an earlier hearing the court was told how the boy, who was tied with a piece of string, escaped death by only a matter of seconds.

The case was adjourned until 5 September to allow the completion of pre-sentence reports.

Magistrates granted the girl conditional bail and told her all sentencing options remained open.

If applied for a few seconds longer there is a strong likelihood that (the boy) would have died
Home Office pathologist Christopher Milroy

One of the main reasons for writing the reports was to determine whether she was "a dangerous young person".

At the earlier hearing, the court was told that the boy had ligature-type marks on his neck when he was found wandering alone behind the Earlsheaton medical centre near his home.

Home Office Pathologist Christopher Milroy, who examined the youngster said firm pressure had been applied to the boy's neck and throat with a length of string.

He told the earlier youth court hearing: "If applied for a few seconds longer there is a strong likelihood that [the boy] would have died."

Initially the girl blamed the attack on other children and gave police the names of children who were arrested and questioned.

The four children, who gave foolproof alibis, had been put through a "harrowing" experience, prosecutor Mr Mehran Nassiri said.

Sticks and nettles

In interviews with specially trained officers the boy gave a series of confused accounts of what happened, the court heard.

In one account he said he was strung up and beaten with sticks and nettles.

At some point a rope was wrapped around his neck, stomach and genitals.

In another interview, the confused youngster said he thought he was in the jungle, with monkeys surrounding him and a pair of scissors were used to cut him down.

Eventually the teenage girl confessed she was the only one present in the woods and was responsible for the attack.

She told officers: "[The boy] was behind me. I didn't ask him to come with me. I was angry with him. I put a rope around him and put it around a tree."

Hear more about the background to the case


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