Families’ feelings running high after shocking case as teen jailed for raping little boy

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EXTRA police were called to South Yorkshire Crown Court yesterday to prevent trouble between families after a teenager was jailed for raping a little boy.

The judge also warned the two sides to behave in the Doncaster courtroom, before he imposed a sentence of 13 years on the sex attacker, who is also banned from any further contact with children under 16.

Ryan Paul Edward Connor, aged 19, of Laburnum Close, Bentley, denied three sample offences of raping the boy when he was aged four and five but was convicted by a jury.

Relatives of the child in court to see him sentenced were seated apart from members of Connor’s family, who burst into tears when they heard how long he will spend behind bars.

The sexual offences took place when the defendant was under 18, and the judge said he would probably have been given a longer term were it not for his youth.

The little boy, who cannot be identified, and a girl witness both gave evidence against Connor at the trial via a video link.

There was no evidence of threats or bribes being used by Connor to commit the offences.

Recorder Martin Bethel, QC, said the case was tragic for both families.

“It is an unhappy fact that this sort of case damages not one life but many,” he told Connor.

“You indulged in sexual activity with a child of four, five and six on a number of occasions when you were 16, 17 and 18. You were sexually inexperienced and it may well be this arose out of some sort of sexual experimentation.

“No-one knows what psychological impact this will have on him.”

The offences came to light because the little boy was afterwards seen to “shrink away” from Connor.

The defendant had no previous convictions but will now be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Guy Wyatt, defending, said the court should give weight to his client’s age at the time. “This case arises from sexual immaturity rather than a more deep and intractable problem,” he said.

Mr Wyatt said he had received up to 20 letters from Connor’s family and others which spoke “very highly” of him.

The judge also imposed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans Connor from having any unsupervised contact with under 16s after his release, and he must allow public protection officers to enter his home at any time.