Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police 'Knew of Torture Gang's Terror Campaign'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police 'Knew of Torture Gang's Terror Campaign'

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGE WRIGHT

FRIENDS of a disabled family abused and tortured by three teenagers told today how they had warned council officials, the police and social workers of the gang's campaign of terror against their victims, but nothing was done.

Now they are dismayed at the "ridiculous" sentences handed out to the attackers.

Residents on the council estate in Feltham, where the family of four with learning difficulties were subjected to a series of brutal attacks, said the youths responsible had escaped "very lightly" with jail terms of up to three and a half years.

The family's neighbours, too fearful to be named, said their hopes had been dashed that the Old Bailey trial would result in harsh prison sentences for Robert Davenport, 18, Wayne March and Nicholas Cooper, both 17, who laughed and joked as they forced the helpless couple - a 43-yearold father and mother, 38 - to perform sex acts in front of their two daughters, aged 11 and eight.

In a two-hour ordeal, the teenagers also sprayed cleaning liquid, pepper and curry powder into their victims' eyes, forced the father to drink urine and eat excrement at knifepoint, and attacked the family dog and cat.

The father was slashed 60 times with a kitchen knife. One neighbour, a mother of four who described herself as a close friend of the family, said: "We thought that since Davenport is 18 years old now he would be treated as an adult. The word on the estate was that he could get up to 10 years. People will be shocked that he only got three and a half. We saw what they put that family through - not just on the day of this terrible assault, but over about four months.

"The three boys lived nearby and they terrified the whole estate.

But they chose to pick on this couple in particular because they knew they were slow. …

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