Two brothers who tortured two other children in South Yorkshire granted lifelong anonymity

Brothers will never be named after attacking two boys in a former pit village in 2009

Ben Farmer,Caroline Mortimer
Friday 09 December 2016 17:56 GMT
The two brothers pleaded guilty to attacking the boys in 2009
The two brothers pleaded guilty to attacking the boys in 2009 (Getty Images)

Two brothers convicted of a "sadistic" attack on two boys when aged 10 and 11 have been granted anonymity.

A senior judge on Friday granted indefinite anonymity to the brothers - who were given custodial terms after admitting causing grievous bodily harm following the attack in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in 2009 - at a High Court hearing in London.

The boys were lured away from a park to a secluded spot after being promised to shown a toad.

They were then subjected to a 90-minute assault where they were throttled, hit with bricks, made to eat nettles and stripped and forced to sexually abuse each other.

Sir Geoffrey Vos - who heard that the brothers have new identities, are no longer in custody and are now both in their late teens - said he was satisfied that the anonymity order was in the public interest.

He said neither the brothers' original names nor their new identities could be revealed.

Phillippa Kaufmann QC was instructed by staff from the Official Solicitor's office, which helps vulnerable people involved in court cases.

She said evidence showed that there was a "real possibility" that the brothers would be attacked by vigilantes if their names became known.

The application had been made as the younger brother approached his 18th birthday.

It was not formally opposed by any media organisation - although a reporter covering the hearing argued that journalists should be allowed to reveal the brothers' original names.

Another judge had already granted the pair anonymity until they were 18.

The case shocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009 and a damning review of the Doncaster social services’ failures lead to the “unqualified” apology from the authority’s director.

The chairman of the Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board, Roger Thompson, said at the time that the case was “preventable” and “many important lessons” needed to be learnt.

Nick Jarman, the interim director of Doncaster social services, said in response to the review’s findings: "I would like to start by offering an unqualified apology on behalf of Doncaster Council for the admitted failings which led to this terrible incident.

"In particular, I would like to apologise to the victim of this case and their families and offer my apologies also to the residents of Doncaster."

In 2012, then Education Secretary said the Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board report was “inadequate” and that the nine agencies involved with the family missed 31 opportunities to intervene.

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