Shilpa Kannan outside the court says the sentence could include community service or employment

A teenager has been found guilty of taking part in the fatal gang rape of a woman on a Delhi bus last year.

He was convicted on charges of rape and murder over the crime, committed when he was aged 17.

The teenager, who cannot be named, has been sentenced to three years in a reform facility, the maximum term possible for a juvenile.

He had denied the charges, as do four adult men also on trial for the same attack.

The victim’s mother left the court in tears, and told reporters that the teenager should be hanged.

At the scene

image of Sanjoy Majumder Sanjoy Majumder BBC News, Delhi

The narrow lane outside the juvenile court in Delhi was packed with journalists, policemen and onlookers – an illustration of just how closely followed this case has been.

The teenager was brought to the court in a police van and led in, his face covered in a towel. Nearly six hours later the verdict was pronounced, leading to chaotic scenes outside.

The parents of the victim came out, her mother in tears, and said they were deeply unhappy with the sentence.

A small protest also broke out calling for the teenager to be hanged.

“By not punishing this teenager, this verdict is encouraging other teenagers to indulge in such acts and does not provide any safety to girls,” she said, according to Reuters news agency.

The time that he has served in detention since his arrest will count towards his sentence, correspondents say.

The four others accused in the case could face the death penalty.

A fifth adult defendant was found dead in his cell in March and prison officials said they believed he hanged himself.

The gang rape of the 23-year-old woman last December caused uproar across India and triggered a national debate about the treatment of women.

The verdict in the case of the teenager – now aged 18 – had been deferred several times before.

He was six months short of becoming an adult at the time of the crime and many, including the family of the victim, had demanded that he should be treated as an adult and face the death penalty for the crime.

Case Timeline

  • 16 December 2012: Student gang raped on Delhi bus
  • 17 December: Bus driver Ram Singh and three others arrested
  • 21-22 December: Two more arrests, including a minor
  • 29 December: Victim dies in Singapore hospital
  • 21 January: Trial of five of the accused begins in special fast-track court – they later plead not guilty
  • 28 February: Sixth accused charged in juvenile court
  • 11 March: Ram Singh found dead in Tihar jail
  • 31 August: juvenile accused found guilty and given three year term in reform facility

Meanwhile, a special fast-track court dealing with the trial of the four men accused in the case has been hearing closing arguments.

A judge who has been hearing the case since the trial began in February is expected to deliver his verdicts in mid-September.

In March, India passed a new bill containing harsher punishments, including the death penalty, for rapists.

Correspondents say the court hearings are being closely followed in India.

The victim, a physiotherapy student who also cannot be named for legal reasons, was with a male friend when she was attacked on a bus and thrown from the vehicle.

Police said the assailants beat both of them and then raped the woman. She died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December from massive internal injuries.

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