Scotland business

Perth schoolboy twice raped 12-year-old girl

A Perth schoolboy twice raped a 12-year-old girl after both had been indulging in underage drinking, a court has been told.

Shaun Sutherland told police he had intercourse with the youngster on two occasions on the same evening.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the 16-year-old admitted two charges of rape by having sex with a child who had not reached the age of 13 on 25 May 2012.

Judge, Lord Bannatyne, deferred sentence until next month.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson said the accused had been part of a group of young people, mostly 16-years-old or younger, who met up regularly at weekends in an area of Perth known as the South Inch.

Drinking vodka

The girl and a friend had gone to the South Inch and met up with others, despite her mother warning her not to go there, not to drink and to get home on time.

Ms Farquharson said the girl had drunk before, but that evening consumed vodka for the first time.

The advocate depute said: "She describes feeling tipsy, light headed and a bit dizzy and that she found it difficult to judge her actions."

The youngster and her friends were at a pedestrian tunnel when Sutherland and a friend met up with them.

Ms Farquharson said: "The girl has no recollection of what then happened, save that she found herself alone with the accused.

But first offender Sutherland admitted having sex with the girl in the area of the tunnel.

The advocate depute said: "It was clear to others who saw them that she was under the influence of alcohol."

'Steaming drunk'

They disappeared into bushes.

The youngster's mother had received a text message hinting that her daughter was "steaming drunk" and drove around looking for her unsuccessfully.

Later there was text message contact between them and she told her daughter to get a taxi home and she would pay for it.

The court heard that when the girl got home it was obvious to her mother that she had been drinking.

The girl's mother was later contacted about entries that had been spotted on social media site Facebook regarding the youngster and Sutherland.

When interviewed by police, Sutherland admitted having intercourse with the girl.

He told police the girl had been "a willing participant", Ms Farquharson said.

The advocate depute added: "As stated to the police, he knew the legal age to have sexual intercourse was 16 years."

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci told the court: "Although clearly as a matter of law the complainer in this case cannot consent, it is the accused's position, as a matter of fact, the conduct was consensual."

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