A WARWICK teen who admitted to raping and committing other acts of "despicable" abuse against his own niece fronted Warwick District Court yesterday.
The little girl was just seven when the abuse began, which was committed by her then 16-year-old uncle on three separate occasions.
The now 17-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12 and one count of digital rape.
Crown prosecutor Sam Bain said the abuse started with the boy taking the girl into his room to kiss her.
The court heard it escalated on the final occasion, in April last year, when he was caught with the girl in his bed.
Defence lawyer David Jones said the boy claimed not to remember the abuse, but told police if the girl reported it, it must be true.
To which Judge Leanne Clare said he did not want to confront what he had done.
"It's a despicable offence and one ought to feel heavy shame," she said.
Judge Clare said his niece was "only a little girl" and vulnerable.
"You didn't use additional violence but you didn't need to," Judge Clare said.
If the boy was older he would have been sent to jail, she said, but his age and lack of criminal history were taken into account.
The teen was sentenced to two and a half years' probation and ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.
Judge Clare said the teen was entitled to rehabilitation.
"Every time you do it (community service) I want you to remember this is punishment for what you did to this little girl," Judge Clare said.
No convictions were recorded.