A 13-YEAR-OLD boy admitted raping his eight-year-old sister after watching pornography on a friend's Xbox.
The case has reignited the debate over children’s access to porn, with a rape charity calling for tighter restrictions.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the girl and inciting her to perform a sexual act on him.
The youngster, from Blackburn, had told police he had been watching porn on the games console with a friend and ‘decided to try it out’.
He said he had chosen his sister because she was small and ‘couldn't remember stuff’.
The teenager, who appeared before Blackburn Magistrates Court yesterday, was bailed to live with family members while the youth offending team prepares a pre-sentence report on him.
The victim is now being supported by specialist officers.
After the hearing, Det Insp Claire Holbrook, from the public protection unit, said: “This is one of those tragic sexual experimentation cases.
“The family is now being supported and the child is recovering well.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said it was the responsiblity of internet service providers to make sure children could not access sexually-explicit content.
He said: “This case is breathtakingly horrible.
“It is a horrifying crime which underlines how porn is too readily available to juveniles.
“I hope that the internet service providers recognise that they have greater responsibilities for controlling access to porn.”
Jon Brown, NSPCC lead for tackling sexual abuse, said porn could ‘warp’ children’s views of what was normal sexual behaviour and how they treat others.
He said: “This is a horrific and tragic case which must have caused tremendous heartache for the family.
“We know that the vast amount of inappropriate, unrealistic and sometimes downright harmful pornography some children are exposed to through the internet can be extremely damaging to young minds.”
A new online safety bill is due to be discussed by a government committee shortly, although an exact date has still to be set.
It proposes that internet users be required to opt in and prove they are over 18 to view adult content.
Currently, restrictions have to be put in place on each device with internet access.
According to the Xbox customer support website, users can customise their access to games, films and television content.
Parents can also block access to the internet and change the online safety and privacy settings for their account.
Fiona Elvines, from the Rape Crisis Charity, said children accessing pornography was a ‘growing concern’.
She said: “This is going to completely destabilise this little girl’s life.
“It will take her a very long time to try and work through. It will have put her life on a different track and I do not want that to happen to anybody else.”
She added that a similar case involving a teenage boy and his sister had been brought to the charity’s attention last November.
The operations co-ordinator said: “For a long time, people have been sitting on the fence and saying we do not have the evidence to say porn is harmful, but now we are starting to have some evidence around young people’s exposure.
“How much evidence do you need?
“I cannot believe that this is another case so soon. It shows that the government’s measures are extremely important and that we need to start acting.
“When children see porn, they have no context for what it is used for.
“There is pressure on children to be sexualised, particularly on younger boys, to start having sex.
“It is coming from peers and porn.”
The operations co-ordinator called on the Department for Education to make sex and relationships education compulsory in schools, with lessons tailored to the age of the pupils.
She said parents should also try to talk about the issue more openly with their children.
Miss Elvines said: “Whenever we talk to kids, they say their parents do not know what they look at.
“At the moment, children think that what they are watching is what adults do when they have sex, but they need to understand it is not.”