Page last updated at 01:01 GMT, Saturday, 23 January 2010

Parents of Edlington torture brothers could be charged

Court drawing of the two attackers
The brothers, now 11 and 12, were detained for a minimum of five years

The parents of two brothers detained indefinitely after they tortured two young boys in a "sadistic" attack could face prosecution, police have revealed.

The pair, aged 10 and 11 at the time of the attack last April, had been the products of a "toxic home life", Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Their victims, aged nine and 11, were subjected to a brutal 90-minute assault in Edlington, South Yorkshire.

Police said a prosecution of the attackers' family was being considered.

After the brothers, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, were told they would be detained for a minimum of five years, South Yorkshire Police said it was reviewing the evidence heard in court.

When asked outside the court whether the brothers' parents should face a criminal investigation, Temporary Supt Ian Bint said: "It's something we will be looking at with partners in the light of what has come out in court."

You come from a dysfunctional family where the environment has been described as 'toxic' and the adults were hardly role models
Mr Justice Keith

Earlier the court heard the brothers lured their victims to a secluded spot and subjected them to 90 minutes of violence and sexual humiliation.

The victims were strangled, hit with bricks, made to eat nettles, stripped and forced to sexually abuse each other.

The older boy was seriously injured when a piece of ceramic sink was dropped on his head.

During a three-day sentencing process, Mr Justice Keith was told the boys' home life involved "routine aggression, violence and chaos" and included watching ultra-violent movies.

Speaking about their upbringing, the judge told them: "You never had any guidance at home about the way you should behave.

"You come from a dysfunctional family where the environment has been described as 'toxic' and the adults were hardly role models."

Police read out a statement from the victims' families

The court heard shocking details about the brothers' upbringing in a different part of Doncaster with their violent, alcoholic father, mother and five brothers.

The judge was told about years of domestic violence and how one of the boys was exposed to horror videos, pornography, drinking, drugs and cigarettes.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls said the brothers had been deeply damaged by years of abuse.

He said: "What we've now got to do is make sure that in custody they get the support to try to turn things round for them and we also learn lessons in Doncaster so that in future we don't have a repeat of such a terrible, unusual and horrific case."

Doncaster Council has apologised for the failures which allowed the brothers to carry out the attack.

A serious case review found that the attack was "preventable".



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