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Weekly names 15-year-old rapist after court challenge

A weekly newspaper was able to name a 15-year-old boy convicted of raping a 65-year-old disabled man after a reporter successfully challenged a Section 39 order.

Mansfield Chad senior reporter Nick Frame challenged an S39 order which prevented the identification of 15-year-old Ben William Kyle O’Neill, who admitted three serious sexual assault charges, as well as two charges of robbery and a charge of theft.

Nick argued at Nottingham Crown Court that the paper should be allowed to name the teenager even though he was under 18, as the case was in the public interest and due to the serious nature of the crimes.

Judge John Milmo agreed to lift the restrictions after jailing O’Neill for at least three-and-a-half years.

Chad editor Tracy Powell said: “It’s vitally important that local journalists continue to challenge Section 39 orders in the crown court when it is in the public interest.

“This was a particularly nasty crime committed by a 15-year-old boy, and I am pleased that the judge concerned agreed with our view to name and shame in this instance.

“The victim of the crime has since written to me to say thank you for getting the reporting restrictions lifted. He says he will never forget the incident and has suffered nightmares and panic attacks since the offence.”

The court was told that the teenager, who was high on drugs and alcohol, had subjected the 65-year-old man to a sickening ten-minute ordeal after manhandling him into a field on 4th August, telling the terrified man “We’ve going to have some fun together”.

O’Neill made the man perform a sex act on him as well committing rape and attempted rape and the man was unable to defend himself because of a condition he suffers from that restricts the use of his limbs.

Following the ordeal, O’Neill asked the man if he had any money on him and took his mobile phone before throwing it away, ordering him to lay down until he left the area.

Defending, Adrian Langdale said O’Neill had a difficult upbringing, was physically abused as a small child by his mother’s former drug-addicted partner.

He had gone to live with his grandparents but he was eventually diagnosed as suffering from ADHD at the age of 13 and was put on medication to combat the illness.

Mr Langdale said in the six months leading up to committing the crimes, he had begun to take the mind-altering drug MCAT, was smoking cannabis and drinking.

He said: “One can only guess what it did when it was mixed with ADHD. It was in that state of mind that he committed these offences. He was in no way in his own mind and is shocked, disgusted and sickened by what he did.”

The judge jailed him for three years and four months for robbery and three years and eight months for the three sexual offences.

He said he must serve at least three-and-half years in total, and would only be released when he was deemed no longer a risk to the public.

4 comments

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  • December 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm
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    Magnificent story. One of the most shocking court stories I’ve ever heard.

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  • December 5, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    I have been on this earth 62 years and covered all sorts of court cases but I am still ashamed of the depravity of the human race sometimes. Well done Nick for for getting this individual
    the sort of publicity he deserves, whatever his sad background.

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  • December 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm
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    More to the point, how awful does that front page look? Absolutely horrible design.

    Just saying.

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  • December 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm
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    Yes, I agree this is a ghastly paper. It looks like a give away advertising sheet with a gruesome news story tagged at the end.

    Who on earth designs these things?

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