A teenager who repeatedly raped a five-year-old girl has been jailed for five years.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, carried out the attacks over 18 months, in Somerset.

His victim stayed silent but then revealed the abuse to her mother by using a teddy bear to describe the incidents.

Taunton Crown Court heard the attacker told the girl she was his "slave" and that the rapes had caused her nightmares.

William Hunter, prosecuting, said: "She was scared, confused, too frightened to speak up because the defendant threatened her."

The teenager pleaded guilty to six counts of rape and was jailed for five years for each offence, to run concurrently.

Judge Richard Bromilow said: "These are very grave and serious offences for which there must be a prison sentence.

"It's hard to know quite what the long-term effects of this experience will be [on your victim], but experience tells us that what has happened to her is bound to have a profound effect on her as she grows up and begins to make relationships."

The jury heard the attacker had been neglected during his childhood which had damaged him.

Judge Bromilow said: "You have suffered from a lack of parenting - I have read about your mother, the absence of your father in early life.

"That has left you a vulnerable young man lacking in maturity, lacking in understanding and quite simply not knowing how to behave," reported thisisthewestcountry.co.uk.