London

Second boy to appeal against attempted rape conviction

A second schoolboy is appealing against his conviction for attempting to rape an eight-year-old girl in west London.

The boy, then aged 10, was found guilty in May along with another schoolboy after a trial at the Old Bailey.

The other schoolboy lodged an appeal application with the Court of Appeal last Thursday.

Both boys, who cannot be named, were cleared of rape charges but convicted of attempted rape of the girl in a field near her home in October 2009.

The girl later told her mother what had happened.

Solicitors for the boy said their application has been lodged with the Court of Appeal.

'Difficult' case

The court will decide whether the boy should be granted an appeal. If so, it is expected to be heard before the three judges during the same hearing.

It is thought his appeal hearing will be heard on the same day as the other boy's case, on 27 July.

The two boys, now both aged 11, were among the youngest defendants to stand trial for such a serious crime.

Both boys, who remain on bail, will be sentenced for the attempted rape in August.

Following their conviction the boys were ordered to register as sex offenders, although the judge said he was "not quite sure" how this applied to children of their age.

Mr Justice Saunders said the trial had been an "extremely difficult case".

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