A teenager who raped a 12 year-old girl in a beach hut has escaped jail because he was still a few months from turning 18.
The youngster sneaked out of home to meet the 17 year-old on several occasions in Herne Bay, Kent.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how they had unprotected sex “six or seven times” and the girl kept a diary which was discovered by her older sister.
She told their mother and police were called in and the youth was charged with three counts of statutory rape which he admitted.
But because he was just still under the age of from eighteen he escaped a 15 year custodial sentence and was given two years in a Young Offenders’ Institute.
Judge James O’Mahony told him: “You were 17 at the time but this girl was only 12 – that is a considerable difference and you were far more mature.
“This child clearly had strong feelings. You may not have known at the start just how young she was but her sister told you to stop, in colourful terms and language.
“She made it absolutely clear what her sister’s age was and that was the time to stop. But you did not.
“In fact, you said that the diary entries could end up with you in prison and you tried to prevent anyone getting to know about it.”