TWO friends have been found guilty of raping a girl in the woods when they were teenagers.

Brandon Bowmaker and Callum Dowson denied taking turns having sex with their victim and treating her “like rubbish” by running off.

Former Army infantryman Bowmaker, 21, and Dowson, 22, rejected claims that they forced themselves onto the girl.

During a week-long trial, a jury at Teesside Crown Court heard that they were aged 14 to 16 at the time of the encounter.

The court was told that she met up with the two boys went into a wooded area with the girl in Guisborough, east Cleveland, an area she did not know.

The girl later told police that she went off with Bowmaker and had protected sex with him.

In court, she said: “They said to me, either you have sex with both of us right now or we’re leaving you here.

“I said ‘no, I’m not having sex with either of you because I don’t have any protection and I don’t want to’.”

She added: “They were saying, ‘You’re just being boring. We’ll see you later. We’re leaving you.’”

Then she said they waited until it was “pitch black” and repeated the threat.

She added: “I was absolutely terrified. I said to them, ‘I don’t want to have sex with you’.”

She said she went to the ground and the boys had sex with her, swapping over repeatedly, and she told the court: “I told them to stop.”

The friends told a jury they each had consensual sex with the girl while alone with her, but the panel of seven men and five women found the guilty on a majority verdict of 11-1.

Judge Sean Morris adjourned the case until August 3 for background reports to be prepared by the Probation Service, and gave the two defendants bail until then.

Bowmaker, who said he had been in the Yorkshire Regiment until March this year, told how he had sex with the girl in the woods.

Then they rejoined Dowson, who said he asked: “Can I have sex?”

The men said she agreed and went off with Dowson to have sex with him.

Bowmaker denied having sex with the girl a second time or against her will, or putting pressure on her to have sex with Dowson.

He denied the girl’s account, saying: “Nothing like that.”

He said he was a “daft teenager” and behaved disrespectfully by walking off afterwards, but claimed he still respected her.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi put to Bowmaker: “You’d raped her.

“She’s saying no while you’re both swapping over and raping her.

“You treated her like a piece of rubbish.

“You did rape her and you treated her with absolute contempt, didn’t you?”

“No,” Bowmaker replied. “That never happened.”

He said he broke down crying when he was arrested on suspicion of rape in April last year.

He admitted lying to police by denying knowing the girl, saying he was scared and did not want to ruin his prospects of his “dream job” in the Army.

In his evidence to the court, Dowson denied threatening to leave the girl in the woods, raping her or that the boys watched each other have sex with her.

Ms Wadoodi said: “You both threatened her and said, we’re going to leave you here in the dark if you don’t have sex with us both

“She’s really frightened and there you both are, raping her.

“She was crying, she was upset.

“After you both raped her you left her because you thought she was worthless, didn’t you?”

Dowson said: “No.”

Bowmaker, of Woodhouse Road, and Dowson, of Venables Road, both Guisborough, denied the charge of rape.