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PURE EVIL; BOY, 12, WHO RAPED TEACHER LOCKED AWAY FOR LIFE He was drinking and smoking at three,simulating sex with his teddy,and abused by his mother who used heroin in front of him.

Byline: JEREMY ARMSTRONG

A BOY of 12 who raped his petite teacher after a lifetime of appalling abuse was branded "pure evil" yesterday.

The stocky youngster, who cannot be named, showed not a flicker of emotion as he wrestled his 32-year-old victim to the ground and not an ounce of remorse for his crime.

At the time of the attack he was being investigated for an alleged sex assault on a boy of five.

Yet he himself had suffered an almost unbelievable catalogue of abuse since the age of THREE.

His mother was prosecuted for abusing him and his two brothers.

When he was three and a half, concerns were expressed about his "sexualised behaviour". He was simulating sexual intercourse and oral sex with his teddy bear.

Before he was four he was being mistreated and encouraged to drink alcohol and smoke.

The 5ft 3in boy, now 13, had admitted raping the teacher and stealing her car which he drove at over 100mph down the A1.

Yesterday, as Britain's youngest convicted rapist, he was locked up for life by a judge at Teesside crown court in Middlesbrough.

As he was led away, his married victim - who came face to face with him in court for the first time since the attack in November - broke down in tears. She was said to be "relieved and pleased".

Outside court, the 52-year-old former boyfriend of the boy's mother told of the horrors that lurked behind the door of the family home in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

He said: "I remember the lad's eyes, he was pure evil. It sends a chill down my spine to think about him.

"His mother was a volatile, violent drunk and would beat me black and blue. She had no idea how to be a parent and would smoke heroin in front of the children.

"The rapist's relationship to her was very unhealthy. He'd get her drunk and call her terrible names.

"He had this way of standing and watching silently what was going on.

"His favourite trick was to stand in front of me and tear the spines from my books. He'd look me in the eye as if to say 'What are you going to do about it?'

"The boy and his two brothers were well known tearaways. There's something twisted and evil about the whole family - they have no redeeming features."

At the time of the attack, the boy was staying with a foster family after his mother was jailed for rape and two indecent assaults on minors.

Last night he was being held at a centre for disturbed children in Ayecliffe, Co Durham, while authorities decide where he will serve his life sentence.

Child welfare experts in Gateshead, where the boy was in care of the local authority, launched an urgent inquiry to discover why he was left alone with the teacher.

The boy cornered his special needs teacher during a one-to-one tutorial session in a deserted community centre in Co Durham.

As the youngster sat at the back of court accompanied by three security minders rather than in the dock, prosecutor Shaun Dodds said: "He jumped out of his seat and approached the woman as she was about to make a call on her mobile. He faced her with a wild look on his face and started pulling down her pants and tights at the same time as pulling his own tracksuit down.

"Realising she was about to use her mobile phone he grabbed it from her and threw it away, saying 'No'.

"He wasn't saying anything. She was frightened but tried to calm him down by talking to him.

"All the time she was saying 'What are you doing? This is me, it is (her name)'. But he ignored her.

"He held her down using his body weight. Afterwards, he stood up, asked for her car keys, removed several coins from her bag and her keys and left the centre."

The 5ft 1in teacher was so distressed she locked herself in a toilet and made a 999 call.

But it took 11 minutes to get her terrified message across because the operator found it difficult to believe that a boy of 12 was capable of rape, or driving a high performance car.

As police were alerted the boy roared off in the car speeding at more than 100mph down the busy A1. At one stage he clipped a road bridge. He drove 40 miles before dumping the vehicle in Gateshead.

The fair-haired boy was arrested seven hours after the attack. But, quizzed by police, he showed a frightening lack of emotion, refusing to answer questions and denying rape until presented with DNA evidence.

As the prosecution detailed the horrific events the boy fixed his gaze on the gallery where his victim sat with her husband and parents.

John Evans, defending, said it was hard for the public to understand the "unique" nature of the case without knowing the defendant's background. He said: "By January, 1995, when he was barely three and a half years old, concerns were being expressed about his sexualised behaviour and poor standard of care.

"His GP said that he appeared to be under the influence of illicit substances. When he was still not yet four, he was being mistreated and encouraged to abuse both alcohol and cigarettes.

"He was massively damaged already and massively let down by some of the people around him. He was simulating sexual intercourse and oral sex with his teddy bear.

"Plainly, this gives some explanation. His mother was prosecuted for abusing both him and his brothers from an early age. It was a truly appalling start to life, with precious little guidance."

Sentencing him to life, with no minimum term, Mr Justice Grigson said he did not expect the boy to take in what the verdict meant.

He said: "These problems are not of your own making, but it's plain that until they are dealt with you are very likely to commit other offences as serious as this. The public has to be properly protected.

"You raped this young woman. Physical injuries can heal relatively quickly. But injury to a person's state of mind takes much longer.

"You know that better than anybody - you were the victim of such an attack." He also ordered that the boy remain on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Sergeant Jim Cunningham, of Durham police, said the case had shocked experienced colleagues.

He said: "Every now and again even the most seasoned detective would say 'But he's only 12 years old'.

"The boy is a very big, aggressive young man and she's a petite lady. It was easy to overpower her.

"As the boy left the centre he was very composed. He was able to switch off, which for me makes him even more dangerous. He was cool and showed no emotion."

Gateshead Area Child Protection Committee, which has commissioned a review of the case, said: "Agencies have worked intensively with this boy over the past few years.

"At the time of this incident, there appears to have been nothing to indicate he was a risk to adults."

CAPTION(S):

SICK: The boy's abusive mother; CONDEMNED: Boy rapist faces life behind bars
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 12, 2005
Words:1206
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