A 5-year-old who was raped by her half-brother and bribed with Skittles to keep quiet begged her mother to help her stop crying, a court heard.

The girl's mother gave a heart-wrenching account of the terrible trauma she suffered from the age of 4 when she was repeatedly raped by her 12-year-old half sibling.

She revealed her daughter asked her "How do I stop crying Mummy?" following the harrowing ordeal.

As a court considered how to deal with the boy, now 14, the girl's mother was told they would have to wait even longer for justice.

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The boy raped his sister during games of hide and seek at her home when she was just four and he was 12.

He then bribed her with the sweets to keep quiet.

The case was heard before a judge in the youth court in Brighton, Sussex. Photo / 123RF
The case was heard before a judge in the youth court in Brighton, Sussex. Photo / 123RF

In a statement read to Brighton Youth Court, the mother said: "I saw what I can only describe as shadow come across my child's face.

"That shadow returns every time his name is mentioned. She was waking five times a night with night terrors.

"She still wakes crying and calling to me. She has suffered separation anxiety. She panics if I leave her for even a couple of minutes, if I just move into a different room.

"It has been devastating to witness her distress. She had to be prepared for a day in court and had to relive her trauma.

"This was harrowing. She cries for half an hour and won't let me cuddle or comfort her.

"At one stage she cried uncontrollably for 45 minutes. Sometimes she says 'How do I stop crying Mummy? Help me, help me,'.

"Unfortunately I know there will be more difficult times to come. Long term she will have to deal with the repercussions of her traumatic experiences for the rest of her life.

"I'm so scared for her future. Even once the court process is over this goes on for her.

"As a mother I find this totally terrifying."

The attacks happened in the spring last year with the girl telling her mother about them while she was in the bath.

After the girl demonstrated on a doll how she had been abused, her mother rang the NSPCC who contacted the police.

The boy originally denied the crimes but midway through his trial changed his plea on one count of rape and sexually assaulting the girl.

He was then found guilty of a second rape, forcing his victim to wait more than a year and a half for justice.

The girl's mother added that the court process and delays in the case had prolonged the youngster's suffering.

The devoted mother added: "I can't end this statement without saying what an amazing little girl she is."

District Judge Tereza Szagun said she found the mother's statement "heart wrenching" but thought the boy should face a stiffer penalty than the 24 months in custody maximum sentence the youth courts can issue.

The court was told there were "factors that were aggravating in a case that was already serious".

The judge said the boy needed to face up to his crimes before he could undergo any meaningful rehabilitation.

The boy was released on bail until he is sentenced at Lewes Crown Court next month.