Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Edlington torture case sentences to be reviewed

Court drawing of the two attackers
The attack by the brothers involved "prolonged sadistic violence"

The attorney general is to review the detention sentences imposed on two young brothers who attacked two boys in Edlington, South Yorkshire.

The brothers, aged 10 and 11 at the time of the attack, were detained indefinitely and told they would serve a minimum of five years.

The attorney general's office said it would consider whether the issue should be referred to the Court of Appeal.

Some child welfare campaigners said the minimum tariffs were too short.

They had asked the Attorney General, Lady Scotland, to examine the case.

'Exceptional' crimes

The attack involved "prolonged sadistic violence" and sexual humiliation by the brothers on their victims aged nine and 11.

They were strangled, stamped on, hit with bricks and made to eat nettles during the 90-minute ordeal at a secluded spot last April, Sheffield Crown Court heard last week.

Sentencing them Mr Justice Keith described the crimes as "truly exceptional".

He said they were carried out "for no reason other than that you got a real kick out of hurting and humiliating them".

Speaking at the weekend, Michelle Elliott, founder of charity Kidscape, said she would be appealing for the sentence to be increased.

She said: "I think for them and their families, victims need to have a clear 10 years."

Dr Elliott, a psychiatrist, said the attackers could pose a risk to society for many years.

Pressure group Phoenix Survivors, which campaigns for justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse, said it had already appealed over the minimum tariff "on the grounds that it is unduly lenient".

If Lady Scotland decides the sentences were too soft, she will refer them to the Court of Appeal and ask the judges to consider upping the terms.

They will look again at the case and can decide to change the terms or leave them as they are.

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