Boys, aged 10 and 11, plead guilty to torturing and sexually assaulting two boys(118 Posts)
"The victims first met their attackers as they played football in a park.
The boys were lured away by the brothers, who promised they would show them a toad they had found, but instead they were subjected to a horrific assault.
One of the boys had a sink dropped on his head, the pair had bricks thrown at them and they were repeatedly stamped on.
The nine-year-old managed to stagger to a nearby house to raise the alarm, covered in blood from wounds to his head and arm.
The 11-year-old boy was later discovered unconscious in the nearby wood.
Jean Wright said her 40-year-old son, who then found the badly beaten 11-year-old, was left so traumatised he could no longer walk past the scene of the attacks.
The brothers have each pleaded guilty to robbing one of the boys of a mobile phone and the other of cash.
They also admitted two counts of intentionally causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The brothers were later charged with attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and making a threat to kill in connection with a separate attack on another 11-year-old boy in Doncaster a week earlier.
The court heard the brothers picked a "discreet" location for the scene of their first attack on the other boy, in trees, by a stream.
But they were interrupted by a passer-by, and a week later chose a "more isolated" place for the attack on the two boys.
The nine-year-old and 11-year-old were led to a large mound of timber, described as a "den", which was hidden from public view, where some of their injuries were inflicted.
The brothers then moved their victims to a second site, at the foot of a 15ft ravine. It was here that a broken sink was used to inflict the more serious head injuries on the 11-year-old"
"A relative of the boys who carried out the Edlington attacks has told how their mother would lace their food with cannabis to get them to go to sleep.
She recalled how the brothers grew up in a chaotic household watching horror movies from a young age.
The boys would often be up all night and had even set fire to their own wardrobes in their bedrooms, she said.
From the age of about six or seven they used to watch horror movies, Chucky films, the sort that grown-ups daren't watch.
"She [their mother] just sat in the house doing nothing really, she wasn't really bothered.
"The father used to do a lot more for the children than she did.
"He was a tough dad, maybe a little too tough and strict and they rebelled against him.
"If he smacked the boys for being naughty she would just tell them to tell him to F off, it doesn't matter.
"She used to put cannabis in the tea so they could have an early night and she could have a quiet night in.
"My friend said she had walked into the house one day and was totally disgusted because she had caught her putting cannabis on a chocolate cake."
A former police officer described the brothers as habitual troublemakers who were "a cancer" in the local community.
He first came across the boys when he organised a tree planting scheme at Sandall Park in Doncaster in 2006.
"There was a lot of work put in by the volunteers there, but within 20 minutes of leaving the site the entire area was trashed.
"Five hundred pounds worth of plants got pulled up and thrown in the lake. One particular member of that family was responsible.
"That person was identified to me by someone who saw them trashing the plants.
"On one occasion we had it reported to us that at least one member of that family was seen to pick up ducklings in the park and kill them by throwing them against trees."
It also says they didn't go to school, because they had been expelled.
The lunchtime news bulletin was stomach-churning today - this story, the one about the guy with serious mental illness who ended up murdering two people, and another horribly gruesome one. I'm not sure there's much sensible to be said about any of it (well perhaps apart from chucking a load more money into social and mental health services).
It's easier to comment on young children doing this, when you can see their family background, than someone of 39 with a much longer past.
Children can still be 'saved'. Adults can basically only be locked up (and possibly treated).
Another BBC article here, seems these boys had also been taught to be racist:
"On my way to the post office I was walking past their house and they threw wood at me.
"When I went with my son when he was very small in his pram they would tell me to go back to my own country. I've been here seven years now.
"I told the parents but they said they can't look after them 24 hours."
How utterly depressing that an 11 year old and a 10 year old have been described as 'cancer in the local community'. They have been failed by everyone, especially their parents.
This can very easily head down the Veneables&Thompson lynch mob route of course (in that case many many people wanted at them, despite their tender years).
These children were just of the age of criminal responsibility, but it's hard to see how they can really be said to have responsibility, when all they have been exposed to in their lives is depravity.
Yes really depressing. However these boys were made, not born. What life they had which led them to having not one shred of empathy or kindness for another human being and to torture - at 10 years old!!!!
It is frightening. Kids being neglected, doped up by their parents, ignored, abused....In a way I'm suprised not more of this kind of stuff happens.
In some ways because of their relative youth, they actually have a chance of being rehabilitated. There will lots of resources put into them. Lets hope the poor victims get the same as well though.
yes, callisto, i agree. i have every sympathy with the victims of this brutal attack, i really do, and am not being a woolly liberal, but
what chance did the attackers have? drugged, neglected, exposed to horror films, no boundaries.. v similar circs to James Bulger's killers' 'upbringing'
life is cheap when it is meaningless to you and you have never been taught that life has a value.
Professor Tanya Byron did a really interesting lecture on this earlier in the year at Edge Hill university. i wonder if it is available on line? she touched on the James Bulger killing and how a similar killing in Sweden ( i thikn ) was dealth with.
the parents of the attackers also need to be held to account in some way.
I don't think both the boys who killed Jamie Bulger were from awful backgrounds, were they? I remember one was, certainly, but iirc the other one (can't remember which one) wasn't.
I'm afraid I can't share your sentiments. There are plenty of children who come from horrible backgrounds, but what percentage of them go on to commit these hideous kind of crimes? Less than 1%? Going off the rails is one thing - torturing and killing or attempting to kill is quite another. I've got a son of nearly 12 - by 10 all of his peers knew right from wrong.
Yes lots of kids from horrible backgrounds don't go onto do these awful things but these kids aren't born like this! Both the boys that killed Jamie Bulger had dysfunctional families. Some kids are more resilient than others and survive abuse and neglect without it damaging them but many don't. It isn't just about experiences but actually about how the brain develops and this shapes future behaviour, how to relate to people, empathy etc. Children need love and their needs met to grow up to be rounded human beings. There is also the issue of how much drugging the boys damaged their mental health.
Their 'mother' is as much a part of this as anyone.
Really is frightening stuff.
Horrific, truly shocking.
Not just the crime but also the "upbringing" of the perpetrators of the crime.
I sincerely hope that their parents can be brought to task as well, because as fiftot so rightly put it, those boys were made not born.
you know right from wrong if you are taught it. it is innate to an extent, but you do need to be taught boundaries and morals
i can't imagine that them having their food laced with cannabis from a young age, helped them develop healthy thought processes
By the sounds of it they had shit (understatement) parents. The dad was beating them and the mother was drugging them. IMO they should be charged with child cruelty.
They are very lucky that they didn't kill those 2 boys.
No, of course kids aren't born like this - but then not all kids from dysfunctional families go on to torture, maim and kill. I'm still not convinced that both boys in the Bulger case came from the level of dysfunctionality that could even begin to contribute to the level of horror that they inflicted - but I really don't feel like going back into the case
I think age of criminal responsibilty should be left as it in - instead we should concentrate our efforts on holding parents more accountable for their children.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is that the boys obviously planned it. Unlike with the Bulger case, which appeared to have been done on the spur of the moment, these boys had done this before but been interrupted so had made better preparations this time.
That really is chilling.
They know cannibas scrambles adult brains what on earth does it do to young children. I hope the parents are charged with neglect & cruelty.
I'm sure a lot of the abuse they carried out was witnessed on TV.
It is truely horrific. And while at ten and eleven children do have a sense of right and wrong, we are all too quick to place adult responsibility on to children when it comes to them committing a crime.
At ten and eleven those children are too young to drink, to drive, to vote, to have sex, and yet we expect them to have the same responsibility as adults if they commit a crime?
It is truely horrific for the victims, but for the perpitrators something was clearly seriously, seriously wrong in order that they got to the point where they actively went looking for other human beings to torture.
Ditto the Bulger killers.
It's a sad world when eleven year old children are written off as evil.
In the longrun, perhaps this crime has been the break these boys need, and they will finally be able to be rehabilitated into human beings while they're still young enough.
"At the end of February this year the boys were finally put into care, but, against their mum's warnings, they were housed together. "
"It was only when their mum persuaded the boys to agree to go that the authorities finally did anything. "
"But when they are together they are worse. If they're on their own they're no trouble. That's why their mum didn't want them together at this foster home."
""They put them in Edlington where they grew up and knew people. And it was too close - [near enough] for them to come home. So they often did. "
Yes all the family including the mother blaming social services for not doing anything. FFS the mother is there to parent the child, not the state. From what I have read they are from a highly dysfunctional family so all this social services blame just blots out the problem which has been apalling family backgrounds.
Well yes. Though I guess the social services should have intervened years earlier.
Though I guess the kind of behaviour they describe:
"Fair enough smash a few windows, pinch or wreck something."
"Then they'd start pinching, breaking people's things or putting windows out. It was pathetic stuff like nicking sweets.
"They were always getting arrested but they were just brought home to their mum. "
Is quite common in certain areas, and doesn't actually mean children can/should be taken into care.
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