Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Youngsters are victims, not our whipping boys

I HAVE been disgusted by the vindictive and vengeful public outcry following the sentencing of the two young brothers from Edlington to a minimum of five years for grievous bodily harm against two children of similar age.

In our modern liberal and caring society, capital punishment or "feeding them to the paedophiles" is surely not an option.

These young people are victims of the failures of others and needcaring support rather than a good whipping.

As Mary Bell (who murdered Martin Brown and Brian Howe) and Robert Thompson and Jon Venables (murderers of Thomas Bulger) have shown, it is possible for "toxic" youngsters to turn out as responsible and valuable members of society, leading a normal and productive life as well as being able to raise their own children in happier circumstances.

We should condemn a little less and care a little more.

JOHN EOIN DOUGLAS

Newtownabbey

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