Saturday 10 December 2016

Families weep as court sees brutal attack on young boys

Mobile phone footage shows child (11) being taunted and jabbed by brothers

Dave Higgens and Amy Murphy in Sheffield

Published 21/01/2010 | 05:00

The families of two young boys who were viciously attacked by two brothers gasped and sobbed yesterday as mobile phone footage of part of the horrific attack was played in court.

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The 20-second video, taken by one the brothers, who were aged 10 and 11 at the time, showed his sibling taunting and hitting one of his victims as he lay on the ground, covered in blood.

Family members of the two victims, who were then aged nine and 11, broke down in tears and there were audible gasps from the public gallery as the film was played to Sheffield Crown Court in England.

In contrast, the two brothers, who sat at the back of the court, flanked by care workers, showed no emotion.

The brothers, now aged 11 and 12, admitted a number of charges in connection with the attack in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in April last year.

Shocking details of the brothers' crimes were read to the court by prosecution barrister Nicholas Campbell. The court heard how the brothers repeatedly threatened to kill the two young boys throughout the 90-minute ordeal in which they were strangled, burnt, punched, stamped on and hit with sticks.

At one point, a piece of ceramic sink was dropped on to the older boy's head and a lit cigarette was extinguished in a deep wound inflicted on the younger boy's arm.

Glass

The brothers ran broken glass across the throats of the two victims, forced them to eat nettles and dirt and threw and dropped bricks and stones on them. The boys were forced to strip naked and were gagged with their own socks before being made to carry out sex acts upon each other.

During the attack, the older brother stole a mobile phone from the younger boy and used it to film his sibling attacking the older boy.

Mr Campbell told the court that the footage was "upsetting to view" before it was played.

The film shows the older victim lying on his back on the ground, with his face covered in blood and his arms crossed over his chest to protect himself as the younger brother "taunts and jabs him" with an object.

Mr Campbell said the assault on the victims, who are uncle and nephew, was "both physically painful and emotionally traumatic -- it was frightening".

The attack, on April 4 last year, began after the brothers lured the two boys from a recreation ground with the false promise of showing them a dead fox.

They then took the boys to a series of more isolated areas and subjected them to the attack, which Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday said had "profoundly shocked the whole country".

The attack ended when the brothers went to meet their father. The brothers were later arrested after the younger boy was found wandering, covered in blood, and the older boy was later discovered unconscious in the ravine.

Last September the brothers admitted causing their victims grievous bodily harm with intent. They denied a more serious charge of attempted murder but the prosecution accepted their pleas and said there would be no trial.

The hearing was adjourned until today.

Irish Independent

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