A boy who raped two children aged just six and eight when he was 13-years-old was jailed today for attacking the children as they played 'murder in the dark'.
The schoolboy also orally raped and sexually abused both children in a campaign of horror for up to nine months.
Exeter Youth Court heard that the eight year old male victim said assaults had happened 'about 50 times'.
The judge said the boy would play the role of the 'seeker' in the murder in the dark game and would team up with either the boy or the girl - and abuse them when he was alone with one of them.
The defendant, now just 18, admitted raping a boy under 13, raping a girl under 13, two counts of assaulting a boy and a girl under 13 by touching and two charges of inciting the boy to engage in sexual activity.
District Judge Diana Baker said rejected that this was 'sexual experimentation' or that it was a 'one off' type of offending.
She told the six foot tall teenage defendant: 'There is no doubt your offending has caused the most serious damage and potentially life long impact on the two children.'
She said the abuse went on from September 2013 to May 2014 in Devon with a minimum of 14 separate incidents. The boy's claim of 50 attacks could not be proven.
DJ Baker said there was 'an element of manipulation' as the older boy abused the much younger children while playing games.
She said the youth did not accept that he told the victims not to tell their family what he was doing - but the victims did not say what had happened for several years because they feared they would get into trouble, the court was told.
The teenager had no previous convictions and had not re-offended in the last five years.
The judge said being a youth sent to an adult jail would be 'extremely difficult' for him.
Faced with either a referral order or detention, she said these were serious offences and this was not an exceptional case where he could walk free from court.
She said: 'He sought out two innocent children and raped them, sexually assaulted the boy and engaged in sexual behaviour, causing them untold damage and taken away their childhood innocence.'
She gave him a two year detention and training order - he will serve half in an adult jail before being released under supervision - and made a life time restraining order banning him from ever contacting the two victims.
Prosecutor Fiona Elder said the true scale of the abuse only came out when the boy victim had sex education lessons at school and told his parents that this is what the defendant had been doing to the girl.
Miss Elder said the girl later said she was abused on her birthday and she started to wear dungarees so that the culprit would 'not go to her'.
The boy then confided in his father that the defendant had also raped him orally and engaged in other sex acts.
The victims' parents said the effect on them had been a 'living nightmare' like 'opening Pandora's box and an emotional rollercoaster.
The boy had displayed anger and aggression and was unhappy and depressed.
Defence barrister Mary Aspinall-Miles said there was no suggestion he was attracted to children and did not fantasise about the offences.
The defendant said: 'I am sorry for the victims and everyone who has been affected.'
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.