A teenage boy from Wearside has admitted carrying out a string of sex attacks on his little brother.
The 16-year-old kept his freedom after he appeared before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court charged with five counts of rape and one of sexual assault against his primary school-aged brother.
The court heard how the crimes came to light when a family member became concerned at something she witnessed.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said when the mother was alerted, the younger boy told her what had been happening and, when confronted, the defendant admitted what he had done.
Mr Doney said the mother of the boys had said it was the most distressing thing the family had ever had to endure.
He said: “The victim says he loves his brother and does not want him to go to prison, but he is frightened of him and does not want to have any contact at present.”
In a statement the mother had said: “I would like to think both my sons can pick up the pieces and move on.”
Heather Bolton, defending, said the teenager pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to the offences and knew what he did was wrong.
She said at the time he was struggling with family health issues and that his school friends were bragging about their sexual experiences.
Ms Bolton said: “He felt he hadn’t had these experiences and unfortunately he decided to experiment with his brother.
“Immediately he realised what he was doing was wrong.
“He doesn’t seek to minimise the effect on his brother.”
District Judge Roger Elsey, told the court: “It hardly needs to be said that these cases are serious because of the mental and physical harm which would definitely have been caused to the child.”
He said his hands were tied when it came to sending the teenager to jail because the crown court had decided to oppose a custodial sentence.
Instead, the teenager was referred to the youth offending team for 12 months and fined £100 costs.
But, Judge Elsey warned the boy: “Any future inappropriate or unwanted sexual acts will result in a lengthy custodial sentence.”