A TEENAGER who raped a five-year-old girl on several occasions has been jailed for five years.

The boy, who is now 16, committed the offences over 18 months.

He was reported after the victim told her mother and then used a teddy bear to explain to police what had happened.

Sentencing the culprit, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Judge Richard Bromilow said: “These are very grave and serious offences for which there must be a prison sentence.

“It’s hard to know quite what the long-term effects of this experience will be [on your victim], but experience tells us that what has happened to her is bound to have a profound effect on her as she grows up and begins to make relationships.”

The judge, sitting at Taunton Crown Court on Monday (December 9), added: “You have suffered from a lack of parenting – I have read about your mother, the absence of your father in early life.

“That has left you a vulnerable young man lacking in maturity, lacking in understanding and quite simply not knowing how to behave.”

The boy, who pleaded guilty to six counts of rape, was jailed for five years for each offence, with the sentences to run concurrently, while severe restrictions were posed on his ability to work with or contact children aged under 16.

Earlier, William Hunter, prosecuting, said the girl recalled being attacked on “many occasions” from the age of five and being told she was her attacker’s “slave”.

“She was scared, too frightened to speak up because the defendant threatened her, confused and she suffers nightmares,” added Mr Hunter.

Rebecca Bradberry, defending, said the boy had pleaded guilty, had a very damaged start to life, made frank admissions to the police and had expressed remorse for his actions.