A teenager has been jailed for six years for repeatedly raping and molesting a young boy.
Mark Maker, 18, of Barnstaple, was sent to a youth offenders’ institution.
At Exeter Crown Court Judge John Neligan told him: “On one occasion, you did put your hand over his mouth to stop the boy screaming.
“You attempted in a clumsy and rather overt way to blame him. That is counterbalanced by your guilty plea.”
Maker had pleaded guilty to four rapes and two offences of sexual activity with a child, at an earlier hearing. The charges all involved a North Devon boy who was under the age of 10.
For the prosecution, Jonathan Barnes said at the sentencing on April 28 that police were alerted after the boy confided in an adult.
“The adult saw the boy was agitated,” said Mr Barnes, adding the youngster had made comments about sexual matters which caused them concern.
The boy told the adult that Maker had said that he loved him and that they were friends.
The victim then told police about it, when he was interviewed, including details about the distressing nature of the crimes.
Defence counsel Richard Crabb said the defendant had no criminal record and had pleaded guilty at the earliest possible stage.
Mr Crabb added: “He certainly feels isolated, as he told the probation service.
“Talking to him, and talking to his parents, he was bullied at school. It’s possible it’s a confidence issue.”
Mr Crabb added the defendant had been frank and was motivated to get help from a sexual offenders’ treatment programme.
The defendant was also aware that he was facing a long custodial sentence.
Judge Neligan told the defendant that he was taking into account his young age and his early guilty plea.
He said: “It’s a sad case, as you are described as being a loner and you sought gratification in the way described.”
Maker must also put his details on the Sexual Offender Register and he was given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, both until further notice.
The conditions of the SOPO include not to approach or have any contact with any child under 16 (in any private or public place, directly or indirectly, unless accompanied by an adult who is 18 or over, having parental responsibility and that person having knowledge of his sexual offending.
Maker will serve half his sentence before being released on licence.