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10yo has rape sentencing delayed over concerns he does not understand legal process

10yo has rape sentencing delayed over concerns he does not understand legal process
A 10-year-old boy in Perth, Australia who pleaded guilty to raping an eight-year-old has had his sentencing delayed over concerns he does not have the capacity to understand the court process. The child has been attending school while on bail.

Sentencing was delayed after concerns were raised over the child by Magistrate Andree-Marie Horrigan, who told the court a psychologist’s report on his welfare “raises a number of issues, one of which is capacity.” The matter requires further consideration, Horrigan said, ordering the boy to appear in court again on March 15, The Australian reports.

Representing the child, who cannot be identified due to his age, his lawyer Neville Barber told the court he disputed the psychologist’s findings. "(The offender) was well aware of what he should not have done," he said. "On my instructions he is well aware that he did what he should not have done."

The child will continue to attend school while awaiting his sentencing. The boy does not attend the same school as the eight-year-old victim, who he admitted to raping and threatening to kill. Parents of children in the school only recently became aware of his attendance with some opposed to his presence, even refusing to send their children to school while he attends.

Speaking to Perth Now parents said they had not been told about the attack and did not believe he was being supervised at all times. “I feel like the system has failed us...the school needs to sort out a better policy for all the children involved,” one parent said.

The school responded that two staff members were constantly supervising the child and that they were doing everything possible to ensure the safety of all children.