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|04-09-2009, 10:25 PM||#1 (permalink)|
UK: Children Plead Guilty in Torture Case
Doncaster torture case: Social workers 'must intervene earlier'
Labour MP calls on government to break the inter-generational cycle of abuse that led to Edlington attack
Doncaster torture case: Social workers 'must intervene earlier' | UK news | guardian.co.uk
Social workers must intervene earlier in chaotic, violent families, child protection experts warned today, as more details emerged of the backgrounds of the young brothers who carried out a prolonged torture attack on two other children in parkland near Doncaster.
The brothers, now aged 12 and 10, pleaded guilty yesterday to a series of charges linked to the horrific attack, in which close friends aged nine and 11 were beaten, stamped on and pierced with sticks. The ordeal also involved sexual abuse and humiliations such as being forced to eat nettles.
The older of the two victims almost died when a section of a sink was smashed on to his head and he was left, unconscious, half-naked and face-down, at the bottom of a steep ravine. He was only found after the nine-year-old was discovered, bleeding and traumatised, wandering nearby.
The attackers, who will be sentenced later this year, had been placed with foster parents in Edlington, a former pit village on the edge of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, only three weeks before. They were well-known to police and had been involved in earlier violent attacks. They cannot be named for legal reasons.
South Yorkshire police are investigating whether more could have been done to prevent the attack given that on the Saturday morning in April when it occurred the brothers should have been at a local police station answering questions about an attack a week earlier on another 11-year-old boy in Edlington.
Doncaster council's troubled children's services department, which had its management team replaced by Whitehall earlier this year after a string of child deaths, is also carrying out an investigation. Critics charge that the brothers should have been removed earlier from their anarchic home in another part of Doncaster where they lived with five siblings and a mother who was reportedly heavily dependent on cannabis and alcohol.
They have also asked why the boys were placed into the care of foster parents rather than a more secure environment, given repeated complaints from neighbours about their violent behaviour.
The only way to prevent such cases occurring again was a nationwide policy through which social workers liaised with vulnerable parents when their children were very young, or before they were even born, said a Labour MP who has helped pioneer such a scheme.
The government needed to "break into the inter-generational cycle" of such families, said Graham Allen, whose Nottingham constituency has pioneered family intervention projects.
"If you talk to a police officer, a headteacher, a doctor, any of the professionals who are currently having to pick up the pieces, they will all tell you: if we could have got to this family much earlier... not only would we have a more rounded, socially and emotionally capable child, we would save millions of pounds with those families," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
The former Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, with whom Allen has worked closely, told BBC Radio 5 that early intervention was vital, and cautioned against calls for tough discipline.
"There is discipline and discipline." he said. "The sort of discipline these kids have received is arbitrary and often incredibly violent. So it is not that they didn't have discipline, it is the discipline was completely pointless,. In their case it was simply a case of just savaging them."
Joanna Nicolas, an expert on social work and child protection, told Today that it was unhelpful to depict children such as the brothers as intrinsically evil‚ as did the detective who led the investigation into the 1993 murder of James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys.
"The reality is that child protection social workers are very much firefighting‚ they are going in almost when the crisis has happened," Nicolas said.
"What people need to understand is that if a child is born in a household where there is domestic abuse, even before that child is born the make-up of their brain will be completely different from a child where there isn't abuse.
"As that child grows up it has a lack of what we call victim empathy, a complete emotional numbness. They have no understanding of the damage they are doing to other people. I don't believe that we should see these children as criminal. They have done a terrible, terrible thing, but they are victims, they are children."
More details emerged today about the backgrounds of the brothers, who were reportedly placed in foster care in March when their mother could no longer cope.
Soon after the Edlington attack, the mother and her five remaining children moved out of the family's semi-detached house on a social housing estate elsewhere in Doncaster, reportedly over fear of reprisals. The boys' natural father, who lived in Edlington and who they are believed to have seen regularly when they lived there, has also reportedly moved.
According to a series of reports today, neighbours around the former family home repeatedly called police and social services to complain about the apparent neglect of the two brothers and their violent and intimidating behaviour.
One family, of Iraqi Kurd descent, said they had suffered repeated racial abuse and their three children had been physically attacked. Rocks, eggs and paint-filled balloons were thrown at their home and windows smashed, they said.
The family said they were told by police to compile a dossier of problems linked to the brothers, and that their 11-year-old daughter did so. This reportedly ran to 17 incidents between Christmas Eve and the end of January.
Brothers aged 10 and 12 admit attack on boys
by Peter Walker
Pair admit assault as prosecutors choose not to pursue attempted murder charge in effort to limit trauma for victims
Two brothers aged 12 and 10 have admitted carrying out a sustained attack on two boys in parkland in South Yorkshire during which their victims were tortured, beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted.
One of the victims, an 11-year-old boy, almost died when part of a bathroom sink was smashed against his head. He was only saved when local people went out searching after the other boy, aged nine, was found wandering a street in Edlington, on the edge of Doncaster, severely traumatised and covered in blood.
During the assault on Saturday 4 April – details of which can only be revealed now – the brothers also used a noose, lighted cigarettes, bricks and sharp ends of sticks to torment their victims.
At one point, the older victim, who was found with ligature marks around his neck, begged the brothers: "Leave me, I can't see. Leave me to die."
Today the brothers pleaded guilty at Sheffield crown court to committing grievous bodily harm, robbery, and forcing the victims to perform sexual acts on each other. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue a more serious charge of attempted murder, which the brothers denied, to avoid the necessity of a full trial in which the victims would have had to give evidence. Sentencing will take place in November.
The attack has echoes of the murder of two-year-old James Bulger in 1993 by two boys aged 10 at the time.
Today it emerged that the brothers were both known to police and social services after earlier violent incidents. On the morning of the attack they had been due to answer questions at a local police station about a separate incident a week before in which another 11-year-old boy was assaulted.
At today's hearing the brothers admitted committing actual bodily harm. Outside the court, police denied they could have prevented the later attack as it had taken several days to identify the brothers and arrange an interview, given their age. "I am quite satisfied that we dealt with it promptly," said Acting Superintendent Ian Bint from Doncaster police. "If there are lessons to be learned then we will learn them."
The attackers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had only been in Edlington, a former pit village, for about three weeks, living with foster parents aged in their 60s.
The case marks yet another difficult moment for Doncaster's children's services department, which was taken over by a Westminster-appointed management team a month before the attack, following the deaths of seven babies and children in the area over a five-year period.
Detective Superintendent Michael Mason, from South Yorkshire police, who led the investigation, said the case could very easily have been one of murder. "If it had not been for the members of the public on the night, it is quite likely that one of the boys would have died."
Mason said he had visited both victims on Wednesday evening and had been "quite surprised" as to the extent of their recoveries. "They are still suffering, certainly mentally with trauma, and recovering from their physical wounds," he said.
As with the eventual Bulger trial, the brothers' case was moved from the youth justice system to an adult crown court, with efforts made to make the experience more comprehensible and less intimidating.
The two-day hearing took place in a small courtroom with the judge and barristers dressed in plain suits rather than robes and wigs. The brothers sat in the well of the court, flanked by solicitors.
The judge, Mr Justice Keith, said he would speak so far as possible in plain language, explaining at one point that the prosecution was "the word we use for the people making the case against you".
Glancing only occasionally at each other, the elder brother, dressed in a short-sleeved black shirt and dark tie, shifted in his seat and yawned during the hearing. His much smaller and slighter younger brother, wearing a white shirt and dark tie, appeared more focused.
They only spoke when pleading to the nine charges, the 12-year-old answering "guilty" or "not guilty" in a clear voice, while his brother was more hesitant.
Today's hearing did not hear full details of what happened on 4 April. However, details from an earlier hearing, a few days after the crime, can now be reported. Doncaster youth court was told that the victims were lured to Brick Ponds, a patch of semi-wild parkland, before being robbed of a mobile phone and cash and then beaten and tortured.
The nine-year-old said his ear and eyelids were burned with cigarettes and his genitals and face were stamped on.
His most serious injury, the court heard, came when one of the brothers stabbed him in the arm with a sharp stick, causing a wound down to the bone which was then burned with cigarettes. This required several operations, including plastic surgery.
The older victim was discovered in a steep ravine naked from the waist down with such serious head injuries that an air ambulance crew took an hour to stabilise him before he was moved. He then spent two days on a hospital ventilator.
A great revolution can only be born out of a great feeling of love.
Last edited by DrB0b : 04-09-2009 at 10:55 PM.
|05-09-2009, 05:36 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Last Online: 21-10-2013 09:24 PM
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|05-09-2009, 07:17 AM||#6 (permalink)|
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|05-09-2009, 08:04 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
too many of these feral monster kids around, and you can hardly blame the kids themselves.
..... and let social workers act according to their instincts, and not force them to work within rigid "one case fits all" guidelines.
|05-09-2009, 08:27 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Last Online: 15-10-2013 01:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
|05-09-2009, 04:31 PM||#13 (permalink)|
This is not my avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Which might mean that you're last sentence is not completely true.
|05-09-2009, 04:47 PM||#14 (permalink)|
yeah, she mentioned she was fostering two poor deprived kids; or was it dogs?
anyway, the policy of training kids early to be effective in war is now paying dividends
|05-09-2009, 05:39 PM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2009
What about the Yank who robbed a bank this week, not to mention the American peados arrested in cambo? lowlife twats. Brits might get drunk and disorderly but i still prefer them to the loud mouthed yanks with their know it all attitude.
|05-09-2009, 06:01 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Last Online: 05-03-2014 07:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
All started with the horrific Jamie Bulger case.
The two kids that were responsible for kidnapping, torturing and finally killing the two year old toddler are out of prison now, but, have had to have completely new identities to protect themselves from vigilantes.
While inside a shop, Mrs. Bulger realised her son had disappeared. He had wandered out of the shop on his own and was spotted by the two boys.
They approached him, spoke to him and won his confidence, before taking him by the hand and leading him out of the precinct. This moment was captured on aCCTV camera at 15:39.
The boys took Bulger on a two and a half mile (four km) circuitous walk, leading him to a canal where he sustained injuries to his head and face.During the walk, the boys were seen by thirty-eight people.
Two people challenged the older boys, but they claimed that James was a younger brother or that he was lost and they were taking him to the local police station. Eventually they led Bulger to a railway line near the disused Walton & Anfield railway station on Walton Lane, and attacked him.
Facts established at trial show that, at this location, one of the boys threw blue modelling paint on Bulger's face.
They kicked him and hit him with bricks, stones and a 22lb (10 kg) iron bar.
They then placed batteries in his mouth. James suffered skull fractures as a result of the iron bar striking his head. However, Dr Alan Williams, the case's pathologist, speculated that James suffered so many injuries that none could be isolated as the fatal blow.
Before they left him, the boys laid Bulger across the railway tracks and weighted his head down with rubble, in hopes that a train would hit him and make his death appear an accident. After Bulger's killers left the scene, his body was cut in half by a train.
Last edited by Attilla the Hen : 05-09-2009 at 06:10 PM.
|05-09-2009, 06:10 PM||#17 (permalink)|
this sort of crime is nothing new, but luckily it is rare
|05-09-2009, 06:13 PM||#18 (permalink)|
Last Online: 05-03-2014 07:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Can you come up with a link to an earlier crime by pre-teen kids?
I certainly can't remember anything approaching the horror of the Bulger case.
Obviously you are in the know, so, I'm confident you'll supply a link.
|05-09-2009, 06:38 PM||#22 (permalink)|
Last edited by DrB0b : 05-09-2009 at 06:47 PM.
|05-09-2009, 07:04 PM||#24 (permalink)|
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