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.