Tortured boys fear brothers will return to 'finish them off'
The two boys left close to death by a pair of sadistic brothers are living in constant fear that their assailants will one day return to kill them, their parents said.
The brothers, who were 11 and 12 when they carried out the attack in Edlington, south Yorkshire, have each been given indeterminate sentences, but could be free within five years.
Their younger victim, aged 10, has told his mother: "I'm frightened they are going to get out and come and find me. They're not going away for very long. They might want to finish it."
Reacting to their sentence, his 12-year-old friend added: "Five years? Is that all? What will happen to us then?"
The two boys were beaten, tortured and forced to sexually assault each other after being lured to a secluded spot. The younger victim's mother said yesterday she believed the attackers' parents should be prosecuted.
Speaking of their father, she added: "He's walking around like he has no shame, like he has no morals. We'd all like him to face criminal charges. That would give us more satisfaction than seeing the boys go to jail."
The brothers told police they had carried out the attack because "there were nowt else to do", and they only ended it because their arms were aching. Despite the appalling nature of the crime, they have been granted anonymity for life.
The brothers' parents may yet face prosecution for neglect or abuse, as police and lawyers sift through evidence about their "toxic" home life, including claims that they were allowed to watch pornographic DVDs, drink cider and smoke cannabis.
Doncaster Children's Services has also faced criticism for the way the brothers and their family were dealt with in the lead-up to the attack.
A 150-page serious case review listed 31 individual failures and missed opportunities to stop the boys. Their victims' parents are thinking of suing the council for negligence.
The mother of the older boy said: "There should have been more communication between the police and social services about these kids, despite them being below the age of criminal responsibility."
The mother of the younger victim said: "I'm chilled to the bone at the thought of what these boys will be like as adults. This is our son, our baby. I can see in his face how afraid he is. He is frightened they will come and get him."
Her son had disclosed "a fair bit" of what had happened to him. "Hearing him was just unbelievable. Why anyone would do that to someone for a reason, let alone for no reason. Nobody deserved to be hurt as they were. I couldn't believe it.''
The Conservative party, who have cited the case as an example of Britain's "broken society", are stepping up pressure on the government to publish the full report on police and social services failings in the case.
However, foreign secretary David Miliband said the crime did not reflect on Britain as a whole. "There are broken families in this country, but this is not a broken society,'' he said.
"If you look at the responses to any of the challenges we face, local or international, this country comes together.'' (© Daily Telegraph, London)