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First of four Workington "gang-rape" accused schoolboys gives evidence

Carlisle Crown Court Photo: ITV Border

One of four schoolboys accused of "gang-raping" a 15-year-old girl in Workington has given evidence to a jury.

The four teenagers, all aged under 16, are on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

They each deny two rape allegations, and further deny an additional sexual assault on the female.

The charges arise out of an alleged "pack" sex attack on the girl in a Workington field in darkness on January 3.

Wearing a white shirt and black tie, the first boy spent 100 minutes in the witness box today.

He said the girl - "slurring her words a little bit" - approached the quartet in the town.

She initiated mild sexual contact with him and another boy which he thought "weird".

The group then went to the field and the girl, he told jurors, asked two of them: "Do you want sex?" The boy said: "I agreed. I said yes."

Of the sexual contact that followed, the boy's barrister, Judith McCullough asked: "Did you at any stage have sex against (the girl's) will?"

"No," he replied.

"Did you egg anybody else on to have sex with (the girl)?" Ms McCullough asked.

The boy responded: "No."

Asked during cross-examination about the girl's allegation the boys "took turns" to rape her, he replied: "It's a lie."

He admitted later deleting phone text exchanges, but insisted: "I do it on a regular basis."

The court heard he also sent a message - undeleted - to a co-accused which read: "You said all of our names in front of 'it'."

Asked why he referred to the girl as "it", he said: "Because I just had sex in a field with someone I didn't know, and I wouldn't want anyone to know about it."

The trial continues.