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Four schoolboys accused of raping girl in Workington go on trial

Carlisle Crown Court

[F]OUR schoolboys accused of “gang-raping” a 15-year-old girl in a Workington field have gone on trial.

The boys, all teenagers aged under 16, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today (MON), when a jury heard the prosecution outline details of an alleged “pack offence”. This is said to have occurred on January 3 and left the girl “very upset”.

Prosecutor Tim Evans, opening the case, said: “This is an allegation of a sex attack, the Crown say, including the gang rape, in effect, of a young girl aged 15.”

This, Mr Evans said, occurred “in the mud in a field” less than an hour after she had met four “strangers”.

“It is a gang offence; it is a pack offence, when the pack mentality took over,” alleged Mr Evans. The boys, he further alleged, were “taking it in turns, and sometimes arguing about their turns”.

The boys have all pleaded not guilty to two charges alleging rape, and deny a third count which alleges an additional sexual assault on the girl.

“The issue will be consent,” Mr Evans told jurors. “She will say that she didn’t. They will say that she did – enthusiastically.”

The boys, all wearing white shirts and ties sat with family members and lawyers in the main body of the courtroom, and not in the dock. Neither His Honour Judge Peter Davies, nor the boys’ respective barristers, will wear traditional wigs and gowns during the hearing. None of the boys can be identified due to their ages.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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