Teenage boy charged with raping woman near Rhubarb Bridge in Peterborough unfit to stand trial, jury told

Police carry out investigations at the scene of the alleged attacks
Police carry out investigations at the scene of the alleged attacks

A teenage boy charged with raping a woman near a Peterborough bridge and sexually assaulting another female less than a week later in the same spot is not fit enough to stand trial, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons- is said to have carried out the attacks near Rhubarb Bridge last year.

The youngster is accused of a raping a 24-year-old woman who was walking along the footpath near to AMF Bowling off Bretton Way, near to the bridge on September 30. It is alleged the boy had a knife.

A second attack is said to have taken place on Friday, October 6. It is said a 19-year-old woman was walking along the footpath which runs alongside the bowling alley, near to Rhubarb Bridge, when he slapped her on the bottom before grabbing her by the arms and snatching her handbag.

Both attacks are said to have happened in broad daylight. The youth - who was 15 at the time of the allegations - and the two victims were not known to each other.

While the Peterborough youth is not mentally fit and capable to stand trial, a hearing started at Cambridge Crown Court today, with a jury - made up of eight women and four men - told they had to decide if the boy carried out the attacks or not.

The boy is not in court for the proceedings.

The charges against the youth are: Rape, attempted rape and threatening another person with an article with a point or blade, relating to the incident on September 30, and sexual assault and robbery relating to the October 6 incident.

The trial continues.

The youth cannot be identified due to his age, and a Cambridgeshire police spokesman said anyone who publishes anything which reveals the identity of the boy - including writing posts on Facebook, Twitter or other social media - could be prosecuted. The spokesman said: “There are reporting restrictions imposed by the courts not to name this individual at this time due to his age. We would like to remind people that anyone who publicises any details which could identify him could face legal action.”