Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 15:59 UK

Boys, 10 and 11, will not testify in rape trial

Two boys on trial for raping an eight-year-old girl will not be giving evidence, it has been confirmed.

The defendants, now aged 10 and 11, deny two charges of attempted rape of a child under 13 in west London in 2009.

The prosecution at the Old Bailey concluded its case earlier and the jury is to consider a verdict on Friday.

Chetna Patel, defending the younger boy, told the court: "I do not intend to call him. The jury has a full transcript of his [police] interview."

Linda Strudwick, the older boy's counsel, said: "He will not be giving evidence."

He has never exhibited sexual behaviour
Boy's teacher

She went on to read a letter from the boy's teacher which said he was a model pupil.

Ms Strudwick wrote: "He is a confident and happy boy.

"I can confirm he is not a bully. He has never exhibited sexual behaviour."

The two boys and their mothers were sent away while barristers made closing speeches.

Court atmosphere concern

Judge Mr Justice Saunders then said: "I have agreed the defendants and their mothers need not be present.

"I am concerned that they do not spend longer in a court atmosphere than they need to."

The prosecution said the case hung on whether the jury believed what the alleged victim told police after the incident.

When she gave evidence in the trial, the girl said she had invented the rape claim.

Both boys were aged 10 at the time of the alleged attack in a field in October 2009.



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