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29 November 2010, 13:47 | Updated: 29 November 2010, 13:49
A boy has been found guilty of raping a four-year-old girl in Emberton Park, Olney, in August last year.
The 17-year-old boy from Dunstable, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of one count of rape by a unanimous jury at Huntingdon Crown Court at the end of a 14-day trial.
On a second count of rape the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
He will be sentenced at Huntingdon Crown Court on 10 January 2011.
The incident happened on 13 August 2009 at about 3.30pm at Emerberton Park, Olney, where the victim had gone with her family to feed the ducks. The offender approached the victim as she played in a busy children’s play park. Twelve days later the victim identified the offender in a local shop by the distinctive T-shirt he was wearing. Police were called and the boy was arrested and later charged.
DCI Peter Vigurs, who led the investigation, said: “I am grateful to the jury for this verdict and believe it fairly reflects the evidence they have heard. The victim in this case was 4 years old and I think it is very important for people to see that the judicial system values the evidence of someone so young and is working to protect vulnerable victims.
“Despite her young age, the victim was able to give a detailed account of what happened to her and seeing her giving evidence reminded me of how brave she has been. It is now over a year after this serious incident and at last I hope the victim and her family can begin to put this experience behind them.”