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Last week over here in England, two young brothers were jailed for subjecting two other boys, aged nine and eleven to a prolonged brutal attack. The boys themselves were aged ten and eleven at the time.

This is an excerpt of a news report about the attack from September 2009

Two young brothers are facing life in custody for beating, burning and sexually assaulting two boys aged nine and 11.

The pair led their victims down a ravine in Edlington, near Doncaster, where they used bricks, broken sticks, a sink, a noose and lit cigarettes to brutally torture them.
The attackers, aged 9 and 11, then tried to force the boys into performing sexual acts on each other.
The younger boy was struck in the arm with a sharp stick and had cigarettes pushed into the gaping wound.
He was then forced to ram a stick down his own throat, being told to “go away and kill himself”.
The 11-year-old victim, who is the younger boy’s uncle, pleaded with his attackers to be left to die after enduring a sickening series of brutal assaults.
He was later found face-down and half-naked at the bottom of the ravine, unconscious, with a large gash to the back of his head.
Both the injured boys have since been released from hospital

The case went to court last week, and there were more revelations about what the brothers had done to their two victims. Apparently the boys were strangled, made to eat nettles, and one of them had a kitchen sink thrown onto his head.

One of the victims, who was found later covered in blood and on the brink of death, had a kitchen sink dropped on to his head, while the other was stabbed so badly that the knife penetrated to the bone.
It has emerged that the brothers had attempted to carry out a similar attack the week before, when they enticed a 12-year-old to the same spot on the pretext of showing him a toad, only to be interrupted by a passing fisherman.

I think I’ve asked the question before about whether or not we think people are born evil, or if it is something that is learned. I’ve always been of the opinion that some people are just born plain evil, however in the case of these two boys, their parents never gave them a chance.

It was revealed in court that at least one of the boys was drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis from nine years old. Also, they were exposed to pornographic films and slasher movies, from a young age. It was also alleged that the father of the two boys threatened to take a knife to the mother and “slice her face to bits”. This threat was made in front of the boys, and according to their drug-addicted mother, domestic violence was a common occurrence in the household where these kids lived.

After learning about some of the things that the boys had been subjected to, and the way they had been brought up, I think the parents themselves should also be jailed. In my opinion, the two of them are 99% responsible for their two children committing these heinous crimes.

This is very similar to the James Bulger case, where two young boys ended up murdering a toddler, and in that case, the parents were also totally neglectful. People will argue that social and economic deprivation was probably a big reason why these two boys went on to commit this crime, and I wouldn’t necessarily argue against those reasons, however I think that being brought up to recognise and respect the difference between right and wrong would have gone a long way towards preventing Jamie’s murder and more recently, the brutal attack on the two young victims.

Now I realise that not all children who turn out bad, have bad parents, but don’t we all know parents who should have been sterilised at birth, in order to keep them from having kids? I know I do. And the most horrifying thing is, these particular parents had five fucking children.

I tell you, it’s cases like this that makes me appreciate China’s one-child policy.

What say you? Is it time bad parents were punished for the actions of their children?


  • I don’t think the parents should necessarily be made to serve the punishment for the crime, but they should be punished for child abuse, domestic violence, etc, and properly so. (I’m of the opinion that the punishments for those are far too light in most places.)

    There have been cases, though, where investigations showed up no sign of abuse, and the parents were shocked and horrified at what their kids had done. I don’t think it’s always the parents, but in cases where there’s obviously this sort of abusive atmosphere, something should be done, yes.


  • The sad part is the parents probably would have been in far more trouble if these had been two dogs they owned that tried to kill someone.

    We will place blame far more easily when it comes to pets and being held responsible for their actions but it’s “hands off the poor over worked misunderstood parents” when it comes to messed up kids.

    I have a very hard time not thinking the parents are not at complete fault and need to be held accountable as such when it comes to underage offspring.


  • For the crime itself, I don’t know, unless it can be proven their abuse and neglect did help lead to what these kids did.

    But for what they did to those kids? Yes.

    However, I do believe sometimes, people are just born evil. It hurts to say it, but I do think it happens sometimes and even if those parents had been angels…

    They weren’t, though. It sounds like their actions helped lead to what those children did.

    Makes me wanna go cuddle my kids. I think I will.


  • Sparkindarkness
    January 25
    1:50 pm

    I don’t know if it is practicle or equitable to punish parents for their children’s actions especially since we can be punishing people for things that are only partially their fault – the evil trap of addiction – or not their fault at all (such as the mother here and the constant exposure to domestic violence). Add in sometimes kids do leave parental control, with new authorities and peers that lead them away

    The problem with situations like this is there’s a desperate wish for revenge, for someone to blame, to fix this awful thing – but there is no easy answer – possibly no answer at all. Sometimes evil, horrendous things happen and there’s not much we can do about it.

    I do think we need to be more aware of families that are failing their children – not just abusing them, but failing them terribly. I wouldn’t say bringing them into care is the answer (though, in this case it would have been) but certainly more action and awareness – too much evil happens that we know nothing about and don’t do a thing to stop


  • Marianne McA
    January 25
    4:48 pm

    I would think that I was responsible for my children’s behaviour when they were pre-teens – if aged nine and eleven they were out, I’d a duty to know where they were, and to ensure they were adequately supervised. If my nine year old had vandalised a neighbour’s car, I’d presumably be legally responsible for any damage, so it seems reasonable to extend that legal responsibilty to more serious crimes.

    Different if they were 14 and 16.

    But basically, I agree with everyone else – the parents committed a crime themselves – they abused those children, and they should face prosecution for that.


  • cs
    January 25
    6:30 pm

    It’s a fine line.

    These parents were abusive and wrong, they should pay their dues. So yes, being abusive and not taking care of their children is a crime in my eyes. Should they be blamed for the crimes their children committed? No. Psychologically they messed up their kids, but let’s not forget there are kids out there who suffer ten times the abuse these boys must have, and don’t do the horrors these kids committed.

    Our parents aren’t always right, they teach us what is right and what is wrong, but they teach us what THEY believe is right or wrong. We have the obvious, like “hey guys don’t go around stabbing people” but I got to admit, I don’t care what kind of background you come from, there is no excuse. Using an example of my parents, they don’t “get” gay people. I know that’s wrong, but they think that’s right. I made my own mind up.

    There’s no excuse, these boys should get done for the crime THEY committed, and I hope they never see the light of day. Kids or not.


  • willaful
    January 25
    6:59 pm

    I pretty much agree with everyone else; they should be punished for what they did, for sure. But punishing them for their children’s crimes seems like it would open a huge bag of worms. Who wouldn’t be able to find something in anyone’s parenting they didn’t agree with? I let my kid play video games, some people think that leads to violence.


  • SamG
    January 25
    9:01 pm

    Yes, the parents deserve punishment. If not for the actions of their kids, for their own horrid behavior. Also, financially the parents should have to pay for any and all health care the two victims need, including therapy (physical and mental). If one of the victims was damaged permanently, then once those perpetrators hit 18, any and all money they make should be garnished (their parents would be off the hook then). Sorry, but if the victim has to suffer permanently, so should the bastard(s) that did it.

    Of course, with my solution, you’d have to fear that they’d go back and kill the victim to get out of the garnished wages.

    I realize litigation never solves anything and way too many people use it as a get rich scheme. But, sometimes it is truly valid. Sue the parents too. Prove them partially culpable in their kids actions.



  • Something is wrong, no matter the age or upbringing, if the smell of burning flesh doesn’t turn your stomach. If for a moment you don’t think I wouldn’t want someone to do this to me. Or from the sounds of it, I didn’t like it when it was done to me. That’s enough for me to think even with perfect parents these kids would be off.

    All that said, I do think the parents should serve jail time in cases like this. Not because they might have damaged their kids, but if they were remotely compotent parents they would have checked on their kids and possibly stopped the crime mid-way through. I don’t know for me “damaged” leaves the door wide open for any interpretation. “My mom sent me to summer camp when I was five that’s why I’m a serial killer at ten” type of thing. Versus the crime being directly linked to bad parenting. This crime could have been stopped if these people were remotely compotent and checked on their kids i.e. interrupting them like the fisherman had before. From the list of things the kids did it didn’t take 10 or 15 minutes. At the very least an hour. (if not hours) Then again I’m hanging too much hope on the natural response being “WTF are you doing?” instead of these parents joining in on the “fun”.

    So long story short, if in an obscene crime like this the parents can be directly linked to the actual crime through their neglect or incompetence, then yes they should serve time.


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