TWO teenagers carried out a prolonged rape attack on a young girl they had picked up by car minutes earlier, a court heard yesterday.

Mark Anthony Wilson and Lewis Anthony Bates appeared to have only one thought in mind having succeeded in persuading the 13-year-old to get into the vehicle, after stopping at the roadside to speak to her and friends.

Durham Crown Court heard that comments along the lines of: “She’s game, so we’ll go”, and “foursome”, were uttered as the girl climbed into the back of the Seat Ibiza alongside a third accused, Bates’ cousin Sam Jordan Hunter.

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Bates drove to a remote track off an industrial estate overlooking the Durham coast, where he and Wilson got out, leading the girl to a spot near a fenced area where the half-hour attack took place, in which they took turns to rape her.

They then took her back to the car and dropped her not far from where they earlier picked her up, on the evening of Sunday, August 25, last year.

Matthew Bean, prosecuting, said the girl was in such pain after her ordeal that she could barely walk.

She managed to return home where she was physically sick, before telling her mother what had happened.

The girl was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment and the attack was reported to police.

Wilson, Bates and Hunter were among several Hartlepool youths arrested in the wake of the subsequent police inquiry.

Both Wilson, now 18, of Arkley Crescent, and 19-year-old Bates, of Runciman Road, were each charged with three counts of rape.

They and 18-year-old Hunter, of Hirdman Grove, were also accused of child abduction.

Following a fortnight-long trial at the court earlier this year, Wilson and Bates were both convicted of a single count of rape, while all three were found guilty of child abduction, in each case by majority 10-2 verdicts.

The jury was discharged from further deliberation on the other two rape counts, and both charges were left to ‘lie on the file’.

All three defendants were remanded in custody pending preparation of background probation reports and psychological assessment of them, prior to sentence.

Yesterday's (Thursday August 28) sentencing hearing was told by defence counsel that the defendants, two aged 17 at the time of the offence, were “immature”, and embarked on an escapade which, “very much got out of hand”, that they now regret.

Jane Waugh, for Hunter, underlined that her client did not get out of the car at the remote track and took no part in the rape.

Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Prince described it as, “an horrific attack”, which left the victim suffering “prolonged pain”.

“The offence was callous and your treatment of that girl was brutal.

“You had a complete disregard that she was a person.

“You treated her as a mere object you could treat as you desired."

He said that apart from the physical injuries suffered, the events of that evening have had, "a greatly adverse impact” on the victim, which may leave her scarred, “long into the future, if not for the rest of her life".

Wilson and Bates were each given 14-year sentences in a young offenders’ institution and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Hunter was given an 18-month sentence in a young offenders’ institution.

Following the hearing, Judge Prince praised all counsel involved for their sensitive handling of the case, and commended the officer who led the police inquiry, Detective Constable Helen Tindale, of Peterlee CID.