In Brief

Boy who sexually assaulted classmate allowed to return to school

Mother of victim says 15-year-old abuser ‘should not be allowed near my daughter or any woman’

The family of a schoolgirl who was sexually assaulted by another pupil has spoken out after her abuser was allowed to return to the classroom.

A youth court judge found the 15-year-old boy guilty of two counts of sexual assault against a female classmate. Neither party can be identified for legal reasons.

In addition to being placed on the sex offenders register, the teenager was handed a restraining order banning him from approaching or contacting the victim.

However, he will be allowed to continue attending the same school, where the girl is still a pupil.

The victim’s mother told the BBC that the school should have excluded the boy as soon as he had been convicted.

“He should not be allowed near my daughter or any woman right now. I worry every single day, even now. I don't feel the boy was adequately punished at all,” she said.

The girl told BBC Inside Out East that she felt “powerless” as the boy groped her, despite her repeated pleas for him to stop.

“He started making comments about me, touching my legs and putting his hands on me. Then gradually he started putting his hands up my skirt, touching my chest and I kept telling him to stop,” she said.

“I wanted to leave but I felt like I couldn't do anything.”

She added that she felt betrayed at the decision to allow her abuser to return to school.

“I thought I wasn’t going to see him. They said I’m their main priority,” she said. “So now I have to just keep my head down, pretend he’s not there, otherwise it makes me panic.”

Department for Education guidelines state that, if a pupil is convicted of sexual assault against another pupil, schools should “consider any suitable sanctions... including consideration of permanent exclusion”, and stresses the importance of taking into account the “nature of the conviction or caution and wishes of the victim”.

 The Independent says: “The school, which has not been identified for legal reasons, has said it followed all procedures correctly.”

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