Darkness In EdlingtonJanuary 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.