Torture case brothers lose sentence appeal

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Two brothers who sadistically tortured a pair of young boys lost a challenge against their sentences today.

The pair, who were 10 and 11 at the time of the attack, were given indeterminate sentences in January for public protection with minimum terms of five years.

They were sentenced by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court for the "appalling and terrible" attack on the nine-year-old and 11-year-old boys in Edlington, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in April last year.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting in London with Mr Justice David Clarke and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, rejected their applications for permission to appeal.

Lord Judge said they had committed "dreadful" crimes and there was no possible ground for criticising their sentences.

The brothers were not present for the Court of Appeal hearing.

During the three-day sentencing exercise in January, Mr Justice Keith heard that the brothers, now aged 11 and 12, lured their victims to a secluded spot and subjected them to 90 minutes of violence and sexual humiliation.

The victims, who are uncle and nephew, were choked, 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.

Sentencing the brothers, the judge said they "got a real kick out of humiliating and hurting" the victims.

The judge was told that the boys watched ultra-violent movies as part of a "toxic home life", which involved "routine aggression, violence and chaos".

The brothers admitted causing their victims grievous bodily harm with intent.

They also pleaded guilty to robbing one of the boys of a mobile phone and the other of cash and two counts of intentionally causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The pair also admitted causing another 11-year-old actual bodily harm a week before the boys were attacked.

Mr Justice Keith imposed concurrent sentences on all the charges they admitted and each was placed on the sex offenders register for a period of three and a half years.

Lord Judge said today that, despite the young ages of the brothers, "the level of their culpability was very high".

The appeal judges ruled that both the imposition of the indeterminate sentence for public protection and the minimum term of five years were justified in what was a "highly exceptional case".