Four brutal girls have been sentenced after a 13-year-old was subjected to a three-hour “sadistic, prolonged and vicious attack” in Belper.
The girl suffered cigarette burns on one cheek, had nettles rubbed on her other cheek and was punched and kicked, Derby Youth Court heard on Monday.
She underwent the ordeal after calling one of the gang’s brothers “a waste of space”.
Presiding magistrate Judith Anderson told the four: “This was a pre-meditated, sadistic, prolonged and vicious attack on a 13-year-old girl. You humiliated and tortured her.”
Neil Hoodless, prosecuting, said the girl suffered from blurred vision caused by a bruised retina in the attack on May 2. She was treated at the Royal Derby Hospital.
He said: “Because her scars would not heal, she was upset and hated looking at herself in the mirror. They used physical violence over a significant period of time to humiliate and degrade her.”
The assault began after the girl was led away from a busy part of Belper and heard one attacker say: “There’s no camera round here.”
The 15-year-old was described as the ringleader by Mrs Anderson who asked: “If this situation arose again with all four of you and somebody said something you didn’t like about a member of your family, what would you do?”
The girl replied: “Walk away. I am deeply sorry for what I have done.” She admitted an assault on another girl in June and stealing from a Co-op shop.
Her solicitor John Hay told the court: “She is damaged goods and struggles to vocalise her feelings.
“She has seen domestic violence in the home and been the object of bullying herself. She is deeply troubled.”
All girls apologised when questioned individually by the magistrates after their solicitors had spoken on their behalf.
Andrew Cash, for one girl, said her mother was away on “that awful day.” The teenager understood how serious her actions had been.
Kate Fairburn, for another girl, said it was “impulsive and definitely out of character.” She was doing well at school but her family was in financial trouble.
Stacey Mighty, for the fourth offender, told the court: “She has got new friends and her mum feels it has been better for her.”
The four admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.
The 15-year-old ringleader was locked up for four months and was led away handcuffed to a security officer.
Three other girls, aged 13 and 14, were put on probation for nine months and must each pay their victim £100 in compensation. They must also each pay £5 prosecution costs and a £15 Government surcharge.
Although they were unable to order a curfew, magistrates recommended that they should be kept indoors at night as part of their punishment.
A fifth girl did not appear in court but is already being supervised by probation officers.