Fay Schlesinger, Daily Mail, April 13, 2010
A gang of boys who molested a girl of 14 have escaped prosecution because it is ‘not in the public interest’.
The eight, aged from eight to 12, sexually assaulted the teenager as she walked to a friend’s house during the day.
For five minutes they ‘mauled her like animals’, before she escaped.
A 14-year-old girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and her mother have told of their outrage after the CPS decided not to pursue charges against her alleged attackers
Officers arrested the five boys aged over ten–the legal age of responsibility–and recommended charges.
But they are said to be furious after the Crown Prosecution Service refused to press charges, saying insufficient evidence meant it was not in the public interest.
It is thought it could prove hard to establish which of the boys, from Slovakian gipsy families, carried out different parts of the attack.
Last night the girl’s 34-year-old mother condemned the authorities for failing to protect her daughter.
The mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said: ‘These dangerous little thugs are allowed to walk the streets.
‘I shudder to think what will happen if they attack another girl. I’m deeply disappointed with the CPS.
‘Something has to be done, if only to deter these yobs from ever doing anything so despicable again. But they’re going to be smug as hell.’
The girl’s ordeal took place as she walked in the Hillfields area of Coventry at midday on January 6.
The boys, from local Romany migrant families who settled in the city in the late 1990s, threw snowballs at her to attract her attention before surrounding her.
They then touched her ‘all over’, telling her she was pretty and saying they wanted her to be their girlfriend, she said.
West Midlands Police prepared a file for the CPS recommending charges be brought–but prosecutors refused.
CPS spokesman Patrick Noonan said: ‘The age of the alleged attackers is not a difficulty.
‘I have spoken to the prosecutor concerned and they have gone through the evidence in detail and decided it is not in the public interest to prosecute.’
Last night the girl described how she still suffers from nightmares and does not dare leave the house alone.
Her family have moved in with relatives at the other side of the city out of fear they will have to face the attackers again.
The 14-year-old, who wants to be a doctor when she is older, broke down as she said: ‘I still have nightmares and can hear them laughing and mauling me like animals.’
The CPS decision not to prosecute left her feeling as if she had not been believed, she added.
‘I did nothing wrong but still feel like I’m being treated like a liar,’ she said. ‘After what happened I get scared really easily.
‘I can’t even go out to meet my mates because I might bump into one of the people who attacked me.
‘I’m not really sure how I can move on from this. I’m having to borrow my cousin’s dog just to walk around because I don’t feel safe.’
West Midlands Police sources said they were ‘frustrated’ by the decision after the girl ‘was brave enough to come forward’.