In a shocking and distressing case within Devon, police have made the following statement (from Devon & Cornwall Police website):
Officers from the Forces’ Major Crime Investigation Team have formally charged a 16-year-old male in connection with a violent assault on a 10-year-old girl that took place on Thursday 4th October in the Marley Road area of Exmouth.
The suspect, who cannot legally be named due to being under the age of 18, will appear at a Youth Court hearing, held within Exeter Magistrates Court on Monday 8th October charged with the following offences:
- Attempted Murder
In the meantime, we need to remind the public of the law surrounding this matter.
Anyone who is alleged to be a victim of a sexual crime are automatically granted anonymity for life; regardless of their age and regardless of the outcome of any subsequent criminal trial.
Any suspect under the age of 18 is also by law not allowed to be identified.
These rules are not solely for media organisations to adhere to, they also apply to members of the public and includes information posted via social media.
This may be seen as interfering with a live investigation and an active criminal trial, and therefore could see those who do not adhere found in contempt of court. This means that they would find themselves called before a judge and landed with a criminal record.
We therefore remind the public that it is vital that they do not speculate on the identity of either the victim or the suspect in this case.