Police says, a five-year-old boy has been gang raped by three other children on a remote Australian beach.
The victim was injured so badly during the attack – carried out by the gang aged between 10 and 13, that he needed airlifting to hospital for emergency treatment afterwards.
The incident happened in an isolated town of Napranum, a community of 1,000 mostly indigenous people, 500 miles from the nearest major city of Cairns.
Katarina Carroll, Queensland Police Commissioner called the criminal act, an “absolute tragedy”.
Ms Carroll said: “Sadly, yes, we did investigate the crime. We’re working with the community. It’s tragic and it shouldn’t happen.”
But the attack – which was only unveiled on Friday despite happening on 1 July – has caused a major chasm in the small community, which is so remote it is closer, as the crow flies, to Papau New Guinea than Cairns itself.
Sources imply it has resumed long festering wounds caused by another similar offence committed 14 years ago.
In 2006 a 10-year-old girl was gang raped by nine boys and they aged between 13 and 25 in Aurukun, some 25 miles south of Napranum.
All of the attackers pleaded guilty to the assault – but they avoided detention after a judge decided the girl, who had been learning difficulties, “probably agreed to have sex” with them.
Speaking about the new attack, a local source told the Australian newspaper: “There are big disputes about how this happened. It is creating big issues in the town.”
A police spokesperson said, the three youngsters are now being dealt with under the country’s Youth Justice Act.