We’ve all felt sick to the pit of our stomachs with this week’s unfolding story of four young boys in a wood in Edlington, South Yorkshire. A ninety minute frenzy of cruelty, humiliation and torture has today culminated for two of those boys in at least a five year custodial sentence. For the two young victims, whose lives have been shattered, the nightmare will last for years as the recovery begins.
But what’s even more terrifying is the revelation that these boys were the subject of communications to Social Services and other support agencies on at least thirty one occasions, and that another young boy was attacked in the run up to their latest atrocity. Yet still nothing was done, and a detailed case review leaked to the BBC will not be fully published, nor was it given to the presiding case ludge, Mr Justice Keith.
For one of the attackers, a “toxic home life” of routine violence and abuse also saw him daily watching violent and pornographic DVDs – indeed he was a regular user of both cannabis and cider from the age of nine.
And the reason he gave for carrying out these horrific attacks?
“Because there were now’t t’do”.