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Monday, 25 June, 2001, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Mother's anger over names ban
Old Bailey statue Scales of Justice
The court heard how the victim was tortured
The mother of a boy who was left with brain damage after being kicked in the head has criticised a judge's decision not to identify the attackers.

Bruce Houlder QC, defending one of the boys, said it would be wrong to publish their identities in the media due to the "present climate" created by the James Bulger case.

Old Bailey judge Mr Justice Grigson said that not naming the boys was "in the wider public interest".

Thirteen-year-old Michael Servante was returning from school by train when two youths, 13 and 14 at the time, took him to a building site in south London where they tortured him.


To name them would be a very real risk to the progress that they have made

Mr Justice Grigson
Michael's mother, Leisha Servante, said that she believed the courts should name juveniles who hurt other children.

"I think society has a right to know who we are living next to. They have been protected. We have not."

Mr Justice Grigson said: "To name them would be a very real risk to the progress that they have made and that would be detrimental to the long-term public interest that two young men should be rehabilitated."

Hoisted up

Sally Howes, prosecuting, told the court how in April last year, Michael was surrounded by a group of boys whilst on his way home to Roehampton, south-west London.

They took him behind a pub by Wandsworth Town station and robbed him of a gold ring, about 60p and his bus pass.

He was then marched to a building site where his jacket hood was put over his head, newspaper stuffed into his mouth and his hands and feet bound before he was hoisted up to a beam.

As he was hanging upside down the older boy kicked him at least twice in the head.

Admitted charges

Mrs Servante said Michael had been left with learning difficulties, short-term memory loss and behavioural problems.

The judge sentenced the older youth, who is now 15, to seven-and-a-half years' youth detention for causing grievous bodily harm.

The second youth, who is now 14, was given three-and-a-half years' youth detention for false imprisonment.

Both boys had pleaded guilty to the offences.

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25 Jun 01 | UK
Mistaken for Bulger killers
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