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Two young boys (unnamed) who are uncle and nephew, have a close relationship,
almost as if they were brothers, and are often in each other's company. They play
and ride bikes together.
In April of 2009 their lives would change and the brutal events inflicted upon
them by two other boys will scar them forever and affect their friendship.
BOYS AGED 10 & 11 TORTURED, BEAT, & ATTEMPT TO MURDER
TWO BOYS AGED 9 & 11
FAILURE OF THE SYSTEM
For 14 years two brothers (unnamed) lived in foster care.
The family - the mother (36), her partner and 7 boys, aged between 8 and 18.
Their family is well known to Social Services and Police for their senseless
vandalism, violence, damge to cars, stones thrown at windows, buses
constant noise abuse, and for terrorizing neighbors.
Neighbors described the family's chaotic lifestyle fueled by alcohol
and cannabis, and the partner of the boys' mother as "unemployed,
a violent drunk who beat the children."
Police are called to the family's home 2 - 3 times a week for various offenses.
2006 - 2007 - A series of events through signals the 11 and 10 year old boys'
escalating behaviour. But 9 different agencies fail to step in.
Investigations will show that police and council officials had missed 31
opportunities to intervene
Neighbor "I had repeatedly pleaded with the local council and police for something
to be done after witnessing the behaviour of the family. If social services
had acted sooner, maybe those kids wouldn't have been fighting for their
lives and whatever."
2006 - One of the boys at age 8 is excluded from school for threatening staff
with a baseball bat.
The 11 year old was convicted of battery for attacking a mother and threatening to
kill her 8 year old son.
The 10 year old was reprimanded for headbutting a male teacher (58) who tried to
stop him punching a female teacher.
2007 - November - A multi-agency meeting is held due to complaints
of arson and the killing of ducks at a park.
Despite legal requirements, no action is taken.
The 11 year old of the family appears in court 4 different times for "acts of violence."
The 10 year old has been reprimanded for "violence."
2009 - January - The 11 year old receives a 12 month supervision order for "battery."
2009 - April - The 10 year old has been reprimanded for violence. He is on bail
facing 2 charges of "causing actual bodily harm and assault"
and 1 charge of burglary.
Child psychiatrist "The ten-year-old 'has the potential' to become a psychopath."
ASSAULT & BATTERY
2009 - April - An 11 year old choirboy is "befriended" by the two brothers and
lured off to an isolated area. At that point the boy is threated with
being killed, he is punched repeatedly and has his head stomped
At one point the brothers say to each other "Just get a brick and
we'll end it."
2009 - April - Edlington, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Two boys, uncle (11) and nephew (9), are out riding their BMX bikes at a playground.
They stop to play on a climbing frame.
The 10 year old " We both said at the same time "Do you want to bang them?
(bang = batter) and both said "jinx" (for saying the same thing, at the same
The 11 and 10 year old brothers "befriend" the other boys. They offer to show them
a "dead fox." The boys agree and are lured to a wooded ravine known locally as
Once they are in the secluded area, the two boys are told they're going to be killed.
Threats to their families are made. Then the two boys conduct a 90 minute attack
on the other two.
The oldest brother (11) focuses on the 11 year old. The youngest (10) brother
focuses on the 9 year old.
Both of the boys who are being assaulted are frightened and fear to fight back.
Both boys (uncle and nephew) are forced to eat nettles and dirt.
They are gagged with their own socks.
They are stripped naked and their clothing burned.
The 11 year old (uncle) forced to perform sex acts upon
the 9 year old (nephew).
Barbed wire is used to cut the 9 year old's tongue, and his arm
is cut with a sharp stick and a cigarette placed in the wound.
The 10 year old burned the eyelids and ears of the 9 year old.
Shards of glass from a broken beer bottle are held to their throats
and used to scratch their throats.
Bricks and stones are hurled at their heads. Some of the rocks are
too heavy to be thrown, so the rocks are lifted and dropped on them.
(The heaviest bloodstained rock found by police weighed 28lbs)
The 10 year old jumps with both feet onto the face of the 9 year old.
Both boys' private parts are stamped on.
One of the boys is ordered to lick blood off of their trainers (tennis shoes)
so that "evidence" wouldn't be found.
The boys are covered with a plastic sheet and the sheet set alight.
Their attackers move the two boys to another spot.
A metal 'hoop' is used to partly strangle the 11 year old.
The 11 year old (uncle) is choked so he can't breathe.
The boys are made to try and kill themselves.
The 9 year old is choked with a clothesline. It is wound around
his neck 3 times and pulled tight. He is asked "Are you dying now?'
The 11 year old has an abandoned sink dropped on his head.
One of the brothers tells the other, "It's time to go meet dad"
The other replies "One minute, I need to kill them both because
they might just "grass" on us."
The 11 year old takes mobile phone footage of the attack - the
footage shows the 11 year old boy lying on the ground, his face
red with blood, arms crossed over his chest to protect himself.
The 10 year old is taunting and jabbing him with an object.
The 11 year old says "Hell of a picture."
The 10 year old retorts "There's a lot of blood wasted."
These two young thugs nonchalantly walk away to meet their father at his allotment.
(a garden area) One says "I think he (one of the boys) is dead, 'cos he's just
laid there sayinig nowt."
The bloodied and injured 9 year old kneels next to his 11 year old uncle
and asks "Are you ok?" His uncle replies "'No. I can't see and I can't
move my body. 'You go and I'll just die here.
The 9 year old finds his way back to town. He's covered in blood, there's an
obvious wound on his arm which he's clutching, he's mumbling, shivering,
shaking and limping. Two girls see him as well as Derek Wright who's walking
Derek Wright "I saw him and laughed at first because I thought he had been
painted. When I realized the boy was covered in blood and
shivering. I took him into my home."
The 9 year old tells Derek Wright about his uncle "He's down there but he can't
Derek Wright "He said "Some boys have beat me up with long sticks." The boy's
eyes started to roll and it seemed he was going into shock."
The 9 year old boy's parents arrived as did paramedics.
Derek Wright "My sons Trevor and Ian began to search for the second boy
as police were alerted."
The paramedic sees mud and blood and bone.
Ian Wright finds the 11 year old. "'Through the trees he saw (him) lying face
down on the ground at the bottom of a ravine. The boy's half of his body is
naked, with a T-shirt on the upper half. There is a branch stuck into his face
but Ian Wright decides not to remove it, one of the thorns is embedded into
Ian Wright "As the boy slipped into unconsciousness, I feared he had died.
There didn't appear to be any life in him. I was so upset I ran off
when the air ambulance arrived, smashing my head on branches
as I fled."
The air ambulance doctor finds the 11 year old "'unresponsive', with shallow
breathing and a weak pulse. The boy is loaded into the helicopter and the
doctor begins working on him for some time before the helicopter takes off.
Doctor "I noted his temperature was just 28.5C - a sign of severe hypothermia."
The 11 year old is admitted to the intensive care unit at Sheffield Children's
Hospital. The range of injuries all over his body included fractures to his face
from the ceramic sink being dropped on his head. He is kept on artificial
ventilation for 2 days. He is close to death.
Robert Primhak Hospital Consultant
"He had a life-threatening degree of hypothermia and the state of his pupils
indicated an 'ominous loss of brain stem reflex'. If he had lain undiscovered
for very much longer he could well have died."
The 9 year old is treated in hospital for his injuries covering his entire body.
A series of thorns are removed from his feet. The serious wound on his left
forearm is treated.
Once the 11 year old is no longer near death, he as well as the 9 year old receive
counseling for post traumatic stress.
AFTERMATH FOR THE VICTIMS
Both continue to receive counseling. The older boy (11) makes an
"'emotionally better" recovery. The youngest boy (9) becomes "disruptive"
at school and rarely goes out of his home.
Police were called and a search was launched for the elder victim.
The 11 and 10 year old brothers are with their father at an allotment site.
The father receives a phone call from a friend who tells him "Your boys
are in trouble."
2.20 P.M. - The father and his sons approach a Police Constable.
He tells the officer they'd been at the allotments with him
since 1:05 P.M. He says "because of this they can't have
He does hand over the mobile phone the boys had.
The phone contains the horrific video showing part of the attack.
The 10 and 11 year olds are arrested. Both lie to police.
They deny being involved.
Later they will both give their accounts of the attack on the two boys.
Police Investigator "Why did you torture the young boys?"
11 year old "Don't know. Cos there were nowt to do." (Nowt = nothing)
"I was bored."
Police Investigator "How close do you think you and your brother had
come to killing either, or both of the boys?"
11 year old "8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10."
Police Investigator "Why did you stop?"
11 year old "Cos I'd had enough, me.
Police Investigator "You'd had enough?"
11-year-old "I thought the attack was "tight." (tight = nasty)
Police Investigator "Why did you have enough?"
11 year old "I didn't want to do it anymore' because my arms were aching.
Police Investigator "Why did you film it?"
11 year old "I don't know why."
He says he was "nearly sick" at the sight of so much blood.
Both the 11 and 10 year olds tell police their arms were aching and both
claimed they would have continued if their arms hadn't been aching.
They are shown the mobile phone footage of the attack on the other 11 year
The 10 year old "It's not an example of 'happy slapping'.
Police Investigator "How do you feel after watching it?"
10 year old "All right... I don't feel sick or owt." (owt =nowt =nothing)
The 10 year old tells police he "felt bad about stabbing the boy's arm."
He also tells them "the sight of blood pouring from a wound on the
older boy's head was "horrible" and "made me "feel sick." I don't like
looking at other people's blood." He said he had suggested to his brother
that they leave. His brother said "Wait, I ain't killed 'em. I'm going to kill
them so they don't grass."
He tells police that his brother would deny having said that.
Police "The torturers, who attacked another boy days before the torture
incident, have still shown no remorse."
Both the 10 and 11 year old are originally charged with attempted murder and
threatening to kill another boy the previous week.
BEHIND CLOSED DOOR DEALS
The 10 and 11 year old plead guilty to robbery, inciting sexual acts,
grievous bodily harm with intent and assault.
COURTROOM TRIAL & SENTENCING
2010 - January - Courtroom Sheffield Crown Court
Ian Bint (Temporary Superintendent) of South Yorkshire Police
"The brothers, who were 10 and 11 at the time, could not have
been held in police custody in any case because of their age.
It was reasonable for the officers to have arranged an interview
three days after they were named as suspects, partly because
it was a Saturday and they were not at school."
Nicholas Campbell, QC, prosecuting asks "about reports that
the earlier victim's mother told officers the names of the brothers,
but had been told to "stop bandying names around."
Mr Bint "My officers heard the names through the school on April 1.
The brothers and their family were known to police when they were
living in a different part of Doncaster for several years. (They moved to
Edlington to live with foster parents only a few weeks before
"The officers investigating the incident at the end of March were
aware of the boys' history. Issues of inter-agency working in the
years before the attack was a matter for the serious case review."
"You have to remember just how unusual this case is. These
children were so young."
Nicholas Campbell, QC, Prosecuting
"The brothers spotted the friends playing on their BMX bikes and put their plan
into action working as a team. In a practised routine the brothers befriended
the boys, who they had met just once before, by offering to show them a dead
fox at a wooded ravine known as the Brickyards."
What followed was "both physically painful and emotionally traumatic."
"During 90 minutes of "painful humiliation" the terrified boys were battered
with branches and rocks, throttled, slashed with barbed wire, punched and
stamped on, then covered in a plastic sheet that was set alight.
They were repeatedly told they were going to be killed - and they believed it.
One of the victims was asked: 'Are you dying now?' By the time the attackers
strolled away for a meeting with their father, the eldest victim was close to
death and unable to move. "
In graphic detail Nicholas Campbell related the horrific attack visited upon
"First the older victim was choked so he could not breathe. Both boys were forced
to eat nettles and dirt before shards of glass from a broken beer bottle were held to
their throats and used to scratch them. Mr Campbell said the elder brother 'focused'
on dealing with the 11-year-old and the younger brother on the nine-year-old. They
were gagged with their own socks. Neither dared retaliate. The younger brother
'jumped' on his victim, landing with two feet on his face. Both boys had their private
parts stamped on.
Bricks and stones were hurled at their heads. Some were too heavy for a child to
throw and were dropped on them instead. The heaviest bloodstained rock found by
police weighed 28lb. A metal 'hoop' was used to partly strangle the older boy.
Barbed wire was used to cut the younger boy's tongue, and his arm was cut with a
sharp stick and a cigarette placed in the wound.
During their terrifying ordeal the boys were:
Made to try and kill themselves
Stripped naked and forced to perform sex acts
Burned the eyelids and ears of the nine-year-old
Choked with a clothes line
Sink and heavy stones and other objects dropped on their heads
Forced to eat dirt and nettles
Told they would be killed
Had arm cut open and a lit cigarette pushed into open wound
Throats scratched with broken glass
Burned under plastic sheet"
"The attackers were so concerned about getting incriminating evidence on their
clothes that they ordered one boy to lick blood off their trainers. The brothers
then moved on to acts of sexual humiliation, including forcing the older victim
to perform a sex act on the younger boy. The brothers then set fire to the boys'
clothing, which had been taken off, before covering them with a large piece of
plastic sheeting and setting it alight. They boys were then moved to another
spot where a clothes line was used in an attempt to strangle the younger boy.
It was wound around his neck three times and pulled tight. One brother asked:
'Are you dying now?' The elder boy was seriously injured when pieces of a
ceramic sink were dropped on his head."
MOBILE PHONE FOOTAGE
The Sheffield Crown Court is shown a mobile phone clip of part of the violence
filmed by the oldest of the brothers. The families of the two victims gasped
and cried as it is shown.
Peter Kelson QC (representing the then 11 year old brother)
"The older boy (now 12) had been shown the most extreme horror films
at his home when he was as young as 10.
Peter Kelson provides the judge with the plots of two of the Saw movies,
which include ultra-violent scenes of torture, and some of the Chucky movies.
"They are slasher movies with a great deal of violence. These were gruesome
movies in the extreme - that is an influence in this toxic home life."
"The children's father repeatedly beat up, burnt and suffocated their mother.
On one occasion he told his partner he would 'take a knife to her and slice
her face to bits'. The father, who was a heavy drinker, would rain blows on
the boys if they attempted to step in to protect their mother. The boys
would imitate what they had seen at home, assaulting adults and children
they came across in their daily life."
"The elder brother smoked ten cigarettes a day and regularly drank cider
and vodka from the age of nine. The boy also smoked marijuana which
his father grew on his allotment."
"The youngster also had access to his father's pornographic DVDs."
Charles Garside QC (counsel for the then 10 year old brother)
"The now 11 year-old is now a 'likeable and well-behaved young person."
His behaviour has 'improved markedly' since the attack.
'In my submission, this is not just manipulation of adults, this is genuine
good behaviour, genuine changed behaviour, noticed by people who are
involved directly in dealing with disruptive and difficult youngsters.
'He has already begun to improve markedly and not because he is devious
and trying to pull the wool over people's eyes but because he is genuinely
The boy had written a letter to the judge expressing his remorse in his own
The secrecy surrounding the report into the case by the Doncaster Children's
Safeguarding Board - only the 11-page executive summary of the report is
published, which effectively keeps secret the names of those who failed,
along with details of the worst of the blunders by the agencies who are
tasked with intervention. Social workers at scandal-torn Doncaster Council
missed 31 opportunities to intervene in the brothers (and their family's)
lives. Only 1 council official is disciplined for "errors" in the handling of
the brothers who were treated simply as "Naughty boys."
This angers the families of the victims and the public.
"The assault was a preventable incident. 'Although the extent and severity
of the assault could not have been predicted, the perpetrators had shown
an escalating pattern of violence against other children and adults over a
period of several months.'
There were opportunities to intervene more effectively right up to the
week before the assault.'Although many services tried to work with the
family, none were able to make an effective change to the behaviour and
problems of the boys and their family.
There had been too much reliance on 'agreements and warnings' to try and
alter the boys' behaviour. It also found that the family had been in contact
with 9 different agencies over 14 years.
A series of events through 2006 and 2007 signalled the boys' worsening
behaviour but the serious case review found that these went unnoticed
by the authorities. This reflected an insufficiently authoritative, consistent
and assertive strategy in working with a family who were unco-operative
and anti-social in attitude and behaviour'. 'Services were not co-ordinated
well enough. This reflected not enough planning or leadership within the
service as well as in the case management itself."
FAMILIES OF THOSE TORTURED
The father of the then11-year-old victim "The attempts to "rein in"
the torturers were scandalous. 'They should have been locked up long ago,
Something like this was always going to happen."
His wife (mother of the then 11 year old) "These people were sat around in their
glass offices waiting for something to happen while these boys terrorised the whole
neighbourhood. They should be sacked because they can't do their job properly.
The mother of the then 9 year-old victim "I plan to sue Doncaster social services
over the attack."
Nick Jarman (Director of Children's Services at Doncaster Council)
apologised to the victims and their families.
"I'm making no excuses. We take responsibility for this."
The parents of the victims asked the judge to allow the brothers to be
Justice Keith "The crimes are truly exceptional. The fact is this was prolonged,
sadistic violence for no reason other than that you got a real kick
out of hurting and humiliating them.
The judge outlined the violence used by the boys in both the main attack on the
two boys and the first attack of another boy.
"I will not go into detail about the attack on the two young boys
What it amounted to was torture."
The bottom line for the two of you is that I'm sure you both pose
a very high risk of serious harm to others. The risk of harm posed
by you both is so high that I can not impose determinate sentences.
Neither of you need me to tell you how shocking your attack
upon (the first 11-year-old boy) was and how appalling and
terrible your treatment of (the two other boys) was.
Their physical and emotional scars will live with them for a long
time to come. Their relationship with each other has been
seriously affected and their parents have been left with a strong
sense of guilt which they didn't begin to deserve about whether
they could have done more to protect their boys.
It's not for me to apportion blame but I do know criticism has been
levelled against social services and child protection agencies for not
"You are both sentenced to an indeterminate period of custody for
the most serious offences of grievous bodily harm with intent.
You could be considered for release after 5 years, however,
you cannot be released untilt he authorities are convinced
you no longer pose a threat to society."
Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP sentences)
Although the minimum they will serve is five years, with ten months
spent on remand taken into consideration, this means they could walk
free in four years and two months.
REWARD FOR ABHORRENT BEHAVIOUR
ANONYMITY FOR LIFE
Judge Keith "Their names will not be made public.
They could be harmed in custody and their rehabilitation
might 'not progress' if they were named and shamed."
The two defendants are removed from court.
As the two thugs are led out of court the mother of the then 9 year old
hammered on the window separating her from the defendants and screamed:
'You evil ittle bastards! You fucking assholes! I hope someone does that to you!"
ADDRESSING THE FAMILIES
Judge Keith "I had 'taken into account' the 'devastating effect' the attack
has had on your lives. I have no doubt that you would have
preferred to see them locked up for very much longer, and
I know that nothing can compare to the trauma the boys
went through but I hope you will appreciate that five years
is the very least (the brothers) will serve. They may well be
in detention for much longer than that."
Lifelong anonymity - the same freedom from identification granted to the
two boys who murdered 2 year old James Bulger in 1993.
Both boys are located in separate "secure units" where they received
education classes 30 hours a week. (75.3 per cent of children released
from custody in secure units, secure training centres or young offenders’
institutions reoffend within 12 months.)
The mother of one of their victims "I am disgusted that my taxes would be
used to give ‘these nasty boys the best
The mother of one the victims "I believe they are "evil." I believe they could do
this again so people should know exactly who
they are. I understand they won't be released
until the authorities believe they have been
rehabilitated - but they're evil.
2010 - January 26 - Attorney General Baroness Scotland is reviewing the prison terms
the (now) 11 and 12-year-olds to see if they were 'unduly lenient'.
If Lady Scotland decides the sentences were too soft, she
will refer them to the Court of Appeal and ask the judges to
consider upping the terms handed down. They will look
again at the case and can decide to change the terms or leave
them as they are.
South Yorkshire Police released the families' statement "We found the evidence
'deeply upsetting'. The events of April last year 'rocked
our lives'.'We have found the last nine months to have
been an extremely difficult and testing time."