Two Boys Held Over 'Shocking' Assault

Police are questioning two boys aged 10 and 11 after a "shocking" attack near Doncaster that left two children in hospital, one with life-threatening injuries.

An 11-year-old boy was discovered in a ravine in New Edlington with head injuries, while a nine-year-old boy was found injured in the Brick Ponds area on Saturday. He had been wandering along a street "dazed" and covered in blood, witnesses said.

The older boy was airlifted to Sheffield Children's Hospital, he is said to be in a critical but stable condition. Police said last night he was showing signs of improvement and had been taken off a ventilator.

It has been reported that the pair may have been attacked with a brick and slashed with a knife and burned with cigarettes. Their mobile phones, trainers and around £3 in cash were thought to be stolen.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it was "clearly a shocking incident". Mr Brown added he would be "following the case very closely".

A Downing Street spokesman said that Prime Minister Gordon Brown had cautioned against drawing any wider conclusions about the state of society.

"In his view, the overwhelming majority are well-behaved and have good upbringings, and therefore he would be cautious about reaching any general conclusion about what is a disturbing but singular event," the spokesman added.

Lisa Meehan, the mother of the girl who found the younger boy, told the BBC the youngster was covered in blood and dirt and was not wearing any shoes.

"I felt sick, I felt literally sick to my stomach. You couldn't see the boy's face for blood and muck, he was covered all over. It was just horrific.

"You think of your own kids when it's something like that, and I suppose a lot of things enter your head. I just wanted to find the boys who had done it and the other boy who was missing."

She added: "They had slashed his arms and face and he had no trainers or socks on. His face was mashed."

Local resident Jean Wright, 68, also said "My husband saw [the younger boy] walking past the outside of our house and he was covered in what my husband thought was red paint. When he went out he saw it was blood."

Her husband Derek Wright, 70, brought the boy into the house.

"We saw him outside," Mrs Wright said. "You could see he was badly injured, he was dazed, covered in blood. He was wet through, I thought he had been in water.

"He had a big gash on his arm and he was covered in blood. He was shaking very badly and going into shock. We managed to get his name out of him and my husband told me to call an ambulance."

The young boy told them he and the older boy - who appears to be his uncle - had been riding bikes and were beaten up. He also said the other boy could not see.

Magistrates in Doncaster have granted police permission to detain the suspects in custody for a further 24 hours.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 July 2003
'Lad culture' and lack of respect impedes boys' school progess
Boys perform well at schools where the traditional 'three R's' are complemented by a fourth R – respect – according to the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).
12 April 2010
Teens Sentenced For Robbery
Two teenagers who held up a betting shop in Stockport have been sentenced. The pair, both aged 15 and who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted robbery at an earlier hearing. On Thursday 8 April they were each sentenced to three years in a young offenders' institute at Minshull Street Crown Court. Shortly after 8.
16 November 2006
Heart cells 'can learn to heal'
Cells in the heart's outer layer can be guided deeper inside by a specific protein in order to help repair a failing adult heart, new research has revealed.
21 July 2005
Blood donors warned over possible vCJD carriage
Around 100 people who donated blood to three people who subsequently developed vCJD, have been warned that they may have a greater chance of carrying the agent that causes the disease.
08 September 2011
Gay Men's Blood Donation Ban To End
The lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have had sex with men is to be lifted following an evidence-based review by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).