Want to torture someone? Don't worry, you'll only get 5 years.

It has emerged in the last two hours that the two boys convicted of GBH, inciting sexual offences and robbery have been given only five years as their punishment. Narrowly escaping the charge of 'attempted murder', the duo instead pleaded guilty to the charges of GBH, inciting sexual offences and robbery back in September.

These sentences even when treated individually would amount to at least five years; therefore, with all three crimes combined for each boy, how did they manage to equate just five years each?

Further details of the attacks have emerged since the sentencing began on Wednesday, including the fact that the boys began their torture "coz there was nowt else to do." Also, they only ended their vile attacks because their arms hurt. If this were China, they would no longer have arms. Instead, we reward this sickening behaviour with a five year sentence the equivalent to the sentence given for possession of a prohibited weapon.

Ok, so a kitchen sink may not be a prohibited weapon but try telling me that after it has been dropped on your head, pushing you to the brink of death. This is what the 11 year old victim endured. In addition, the boys had their eyelids burned with cigarettes, as well as suffering burns from a plastic sheet which was put on top of them and set alight.

However, it is not just the physical effects of the attacks which must be punished. The boys will no doubt endure the torment of the attack for the rest of their lives. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson received a minimum 8 year sentence for killing Jamie Bulger in 1993; although the two boys in this case did not die- in some ways this is worse. They will have to suffer serious mental disturbances for years to come, they do not have the so called 'luxury of death'.

By no means do I think that death would have been a better option for the Edlington boys; it is a miracle they are alive. If the attackers had had stronger arms, they would be dead right now. The attackers will be able to go on with their lives after they are released. They have been given lifelong anonymity for their crimes- meaning that their parents can also not be named. This means that the failings by them as parents will not be made public and in some ways excuse their actions in the blinded eyes of the public.

Age has been the main factor in this case; it has shocked, appalled and sickening the nation. United, the media and public have stood to voice their views on this case. In return, the boys have been given anonymity. If they are capable of causing such destruction at such a young age, I do not think it will be long before they are back in the dock after they are released. You cannot erase such a rage which drives people to torture fellow human beings- no matter how traumatic the punishment.

The five year minimum given to the Doncaster duo is sickening. It will only set the example to others that it is ok to commit such a horrific crime. The message will read "Don't worry, if you torture someone you will only get five years. Oh and don't worry about the shame that comes with it, you will be spared from the public forum and given lifelong anonymity."

George Washington once said "The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government." In the US, maybe, but in the UK- it is crumbling.

Comments

Children don't become psychopaths on their own. The bigger questions should be asked about why these kid's minds were allowed to get so warped. Children are really just products of their environment.

You can't give a 10 year old life, which is what? 25-30 years. By the time they get out they would be, at most, 40 years old and probably be very angry at the system and re-offend. Five years to people that age is an eternity. At least, this way, when they hit their late teens they might be rehabilitated and be able to understand what they have done wrong and carry the guilt with them for as long as they live. If they are deemed to still be a potential threat at 16, and they are still released... then we can ask some serious questions. At least, when they get out, they have a chance to make a life for themselves and not just be another example of the revolving door that is the prison system in this country.

Prison is as much about rehabilitation as it is to do with punishment. You can't expect to rehabilitate a 25 year old man for something he did when he was 10. I can't even remember what I was doing when I was 18 let alone 10.

It is horrific, what happened to those boys but you can't destroy the lives of two more people when there is a chance they could be saved. What would be the point?

To be fair, I would probably get longer if I tortured someone. In fact, knowing me, I would probably do more damage to myself. I love Jack Bauer and everything but it just isn't my scene.

By robhayes

... then they won't get out. We're all a 'potential threat', though, aren't we?

Otherwise, though, I agree, Rob.

Oh, and Jack Bauer's lame ;)

By johnsaunders

Yeah, I should have put that actually ha. But you caught my drift, you big drift catcher, you!

Re: the comment on Jack Bauer... I wonder how lame you'd think he is if you were hiding something he wanted needed to find!

By robhayes

That's the funniest youtube video I've ever seen.

Favourite bit "Tell me where my wife and daughter is!?"

Would you quibble the grammar? Moot point.

By johnsaunders

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that anyone's proved that we are a product of our environment? My psychology is incredibly rusty, but I remember covering studies that suggest that we’re born with certain “things” that cause us to commit crime  – I’m not saying I agree.

As for “you’ll only get 5 years” – history would suggest that prison as a deterrent doesn’t work. I believe in reforming people. I read this piece in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine a few years back – it’s about Grendon prison. It’s worth a read. 

By Rebecca Hughes

That 'cause' us to 'commit crime'? Nothing is that simple, surely? Nature/nurture can't be resolved, it's both, and then a bit of randomness for good measure.

By johnsaunders

I understand that there are 'sparks' in some people that they can't help. But I think it would be pretty extreme to say something like that could cause two children to commit these kinds of acts.

I am neither a parent or a child psychiatrist but judging at how impressionable young children can be, I believe if they watched a little more Chuckie Finster (I can't believe I remembered that) and a little less Chucky Ray, it probably would have helped.

By robhayes

Sorry, "things" was an awful choice - prefrontal cortex studies is one example. 

I also said "'m not saying I agree", I was just throwing it out there for consideration.

By Rebecca Hughes

I noticed and it wasn't a dig at you personally.
In a 'going round the houses' kind of way I was just saying that, I think, only a certain amount can be chalked up to geneitcs.
It is like theories about top athletes and scientists. You could say they are 'born' with their respective talents but they still need nurturing to get the most of of their natural gift. It's the same with these little bastards (not calling the need to torture people a gift btw)
I blogged.. to use the term very loosely, (I bascially posted a link) to something similar a little while ago.
Kids, who'd have 'em?

By robhayes

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