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Teenage boy jailed for attacks on schoolgirls in Thornton Heath

|News, Sexual offences

A 16-year-old boy who attacked six teenage girls as they made their way to school has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in custody.

The schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stabbed two of his victims and sexually assaulted four others between November 2019 and November 2020 in Thornton Heath.

None of the victims were known to him.

In one instance he sexually assaulted a teenage girl as she walked to a bus stop with her mother. When her mother intervened, he punched her. In another incident he stabbed a girl in the leg as she walked along a road with her friend.

The defendant’s youngest victims were 13 years old.

Today (Friday, 16 July 2021) the teenager was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in custody and a further three years on licence at Croydon Crown Court. He had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault, two counts of wounding with intent, common assault and assault by penetration. A count of robbery was made to lie on file.

There were seven victims in total - six teenage girls and the mother of one victim who was punched by the defendant.

The first four attacks on the girls were sexual offences, before the boy carried out knife attacks on two further schoolgirls.

The teenager, whose offending began when he was 14 years old, was arrested at home on 8 November 2020 following a police investigation which linked the six separate incidents together.

Nathan Paine-Davey, from the CPS, said: “This teenager prowled the streets looking for young girls to attack as they made their way to school each morning. His actions were disturbing and incredibly concerning for the local community.

“Some victims were alone, while others were in the company of a friend or a parent - but this did not deter the defendant whose offending became more and more serious each time. Many of these young girls now fear going out alone and have suffered a terrible loss in confidence.

"The prosecution case included hours of CCTV footage pieced together along with DNA evidence and a digital search of the teenager’s mobile phone which showed that he had searched for news about one of his own knife attacks.

“I hope this conviction goes some way in reassuring the public that the CPS will work with the police to catch and prosecute those who commit violent and sexual crimes against young girls.”

Notes to editors

  • The boy is from the London borough of Croydon
  • Nathan Paine-Davey is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London South.

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