A man who threatened an 11-year-old girl with rape as she walked along a Grantham street was given a conditional discharge.
Reece Deville, 19, formerly of Mallard Court in Grantham but now living in Arden Close, Beeston, admitted a public order charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
The court heard how the victim, an 11-year-old girl, was walking along Hornsby Road in Grantham when she was approached by Deville and another teenage boy who asked her what kind of phone she had.
In a statement read out in court the girl said she feared the boys would steal her phone so ignored them but then heard one shout “you are going to get raped”.
Jim Clare, prosecuting, read out a statement from the victim. She said: “As soon as I heard it I ran straight to the shop as I feared if I did not that they were going to rape me.”
Once inside the shop the victim asked the shopkeeper to call her parents. Also inside the shop were two of the girl’s cousins and she stayed with them until her parents arrived.
The court was told by Deville’s grandmother that the 19-year-old is autistic and has learning difficulties.
Mr Coley, defending, said: “On the face of it, it is a very unpleasant comment indeed, no less unpleasant as it was made to an 11-year-old girl.
“I can understand the concern caused to anyone hearing that comment.”
Mr Coley told the court Deville had moved to Grantham to live with his father but would now be living back in Nottinghamshire.
Mr Coley said: “He says he did not mean anything sinister by it. It is something that popped into his head.”
Mr Coley added: “It is one word said in the heat of the moment. The girl concerned left the scene immediately. It seems there has been no further contact or no further altercation.
“In the context of the problems he has I suggest even the effect of having to come to court and face the court for the very first time for a young man of 19 with his difficulties - you might think that is punishment in itself.”
Chair of magistrates Ros Gulson said she would take the “slightly unusual” step of giving Deville a conditional discharge.
Mrs Gulson said: “We have taken into account your special needs and that you are autistic.
“We have also taken into account the excellent support of your grandmother who we hope will keep you on the straight and narrow.”
Deville was also ordered to pay £50 in costs and a £15 surcharge.
Mrs Gulson added: “Don’t go pursuing that kind of behaviour again.”