Darkness In Edlington

January 27, 2010

Last week two brothers from Edlington, South Yorkshire, not yet in their teens were sent to jail for an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of five years. Now 11 and 12, they were responsible for a sustained attack on two younger boys last year that shocked the nation. They lured these poor lads who were nine and 11 at the time to wasteland and proceed to beat and torture them for 90 minutes, the time it takes to watch a football match. The catalogue of offences included robbery, beating, stamping, choking, burning and forcing the boys to perform sex acts on each other. The elder of the two was so badly injured that he urged the younger one to get away and leave him to die. That a ten year old should even be thinking that way is truly terrible. The younger one managed to get away and raise the alarm. When the police found the elder boy he was very nearly dead. Apparently, it came out in court that the boys only stopped what they were doing because their arms ‘ached,’ so if they’d had a bit more stamina we would’ve been looking at a murder case.

For us in the UK it bought back memories of the Jamie Bulger case. Jamie Bulger was a toddler who in 1993 was led away by two ten year old boys from a shopping centre in Merseyside, beaten and tortured and left on a railway track to die. He wouldn’t have been able to verbally articulate his wish to die when he got to that point, but he would’ve been bewildered, frightened and crying a lot, probably for his mum. The boys involved in that case were released in 2001 as young men to start again with new identities, to the understandable anger of the public in general and the family in particular.

The home lives of the boys who originally came from Doncaster had been revealed as toxic, living with a violent, drunken father and spending their days watching violent movies, drinking and smoking cannabis. They’d been in trouble for attacking teachers and other people and were placed in foster care three weeks before they came across those younger boys and decided to attack them, because as one of them said when asked why “There were nowt to do.” The last I heard before writing this, there were noises about the possibility of the parents being prosecuted. Perhaps the various agencies in Doncaster should also be prosecuted as it’s been discovered that as usual, they were not working together and as is also usual, the line is trotted out that “lessons will be learned.” No doubt now the boys are in prison, all the agencies will be in place to rehabilitate them and if they tread the path of the Bulger killers, in the fullness of time they’ll be released to start new lives with new identities. I hope the same support network will be given to the victims.



  1. That’s sick.

    I don’t understand why they (the authorities) thought to give the juvenile sickos new identities, when they were (are) all for making a sex offenders’ list available to the public.

    The way I see it (based on what I read about the Jamie Bulger case), the two juvenile psychos are way way more dangerous than your average sex offender. They don’t seem to have limits or moral compasses at all. And I do not believe that their time spent in prison would help them find their moral compasses.

    So basically the UK government released two ‘super villains’ who would be right at home in the fictional Arkham Asylum to the general public and kept their identities secret so there’s absolutely no way we can guard against any attempts to lure our children to their untimely demise on a railway track…

    Hell, I am a mall cop used to the ways of juvenile delinquents and even I (cynical person that I am) would not think there’s a problem if I see two pre-teen boys with their ‘baby brother’ leaving the mall by themselves. It would really help the public at large if the authorities made public a ‘Psycho Murderers List’.

  2. You know I had to read this post again, given that it’s nearly six months old, to remind myself and to understand your response.

    We know about the potential for adults to be vile, but when that same level of nastiness comes from children, it’s beyond the pale. I wish I could believe that a psycho murderers list would prevent more of the same, but I’m not convinced. After all, the death penalty stands in some countries, including yours and the only thing it seems to do is get rid of the immediate problem. What it doesn’t do is stop some people from committing crimes. It’s not a deterrent.

    What I would like to see is proper communications between the various agents regarding people at risk of hurting others and/or themselves, particularly children. The signs need to be spotted and dealt with before they get to the point of no return. If they fail to act and there’s a horrible, tragic result like this event in Yorkshire, the agencies should be forced to pay some kind of compensation to the families affected and make a very public apology and maybe some heads will need to roll. Some people were sacked as a result of the baby P case that happened a couple of years ago.

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