Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feral youth require focused response

Edlington is now known in the UK as the place where two boys, aged 11 and 10 attacked, brutally tortured and left for dead two other boys aged 9 and 11. The details of the case are beyond that of most violent crimes, but demonstrate sadistic pleasure in inflicting the most horrendous pain, suffering and degradation. Having a sink dropped on your head, wounds cut to the bone and cigarettes burnt into them, with sexual assaults and left for dead. They even used a mobile phone to film their sadistic game.

Those who committed it now have preventive detention for a minimum of five years. The sentence of their victims will be for much much longer.

While many ask "why", it isn't rocket science to figure out. When asked why, one said "Don't know. Cos there was nowt to do."

The two perpetrators are sadistic psychopaths, probably without any hope of redeeming their lives. The criminal justice system should keep them securely incarcerated for many years, until - as the judge said - they no longer pose a risk to others. A children's charity has said a five year minimum is insufficient, as their victims will still be young and fearing their release. It would only be fair to at least keep them away for at least 15 years. Being granted anonymity for life and new identities is rather premature. Why on the one hand are some relatively harmless people put on the sexual offenders' registry, but these two - unreformed - will automatically be given a chance for a new start? On top of that, should not both be required to give some of their future earnings in compensation to the victims?

Whilst they are primarily to blame, the secondary blame goes to the oxygen thieves who are their parents.

The boys drank vodka and lager and smoked cannabis. Their 38 year old unemployed father would beat them and their mother. Both parents let them watch explicit violent horror films from around the age of 6, including the Chucky films. Their older brother has already been locked away for mugging a pensioner.

Their 36 year old mother is a heavy cannabis user, and has had seven children by two fathers. She said of the incident:
"It’s got nowt to do with me – they weren’t even in my care.”

You see only three weeks before the mother got them put into foster care.

So the father should at least be charged for the violence against the boys, for supplying them with intoxicating substances and neglect. The mother is at least an accessory to all that. Both should also be denied welfare and prohibited from having custody of children for at least a decade. It is about time that such grossly reckless and vile parents faced serious criminal sanctions, and taxpayers freed for being forced to pay for them. It is also about time that such people were denied any rights to live with children for the foreseeable future.

Finally, there is substantial blame to be laid at the foot of the Police and the child protection authorities in Doncaster. Nine agencies failed on 31 occasions to take action against the two boys. I would suggest the parents of the two victims seek legal advice about suing them for compensation for their boys.

An 11 year old neighbour kept a diary about how the boys would abuse her and throw stones at her and her family. In 2006 a boy threatened a school staff member with a baseball bat, no further action was taken. There were arson attacks with no follow up. An incident involving ducklings from a public pond thrown sadistically at a wall and killed. With a constant series of incidents, clearly the relevant agencies did not connect them and did not consider them serious.

A week before this latest incident, an 11yo boy was beaten up and kicked. They were meant to appear in front of Police to explain this on the day they chose instead to nearly kill two boys.

It should be beyond doubt that Doncaster council and the local Police have failed miserably to undertake their duties to protect the public. No one has been fired because of this, but it is about time someone was accountable. Given news the parents are now being investigated, it should not be long before someone from the authorities receives a lawsuit - and only when it is a sum commensurate to the years of therapy, and the loss of enjoyment of lifestyle that the two victims will endure in coming years, will it be taken seriously.

Yes intervening in such cases is difficult, but when two children repeatedly commit violent crimes at what point is that still an excuse?

3 comments:

Lindsay said...

This may seem flippant in light of such a seriously deviant incident but I imagine the same response would have happened here. Isn't it interesting that present day governments can see their way to punishing groups of people for the past wrongdoings of their ancestors, but can't hold individuals one generation removed for the actions of their offspring?

Shane Pleasance said...

What an utterly horrendous affair from start to woeful finish. Reminiscent of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger

libertyscott said...

Lindsay: I fear you are right. It is a good point, fine to engage in collective punishment through taxes. Fine to tax people to pay to keep these people in homes, food and clothing, but punishing them for their abject recklessness in ruining lives? Lots of hand wringing and the type of mentality Minto and Maia have - "it's capitalism's fault".