Judge considers lifting ban on naming horror attack boys

The judge in the case of two young brothers who admitted a “horror” attack on a nine-year-old boy and his 11-year-old uncle said he will consider whether the perpetrators can be identified after sentencing later this year.

Mr Justice Keith agreed to consider the matter after sentencing in November following representations from Danny Savage, BBC’s north of England correspondent, on behalf of a number of media organisations.

The judge indicated at an early stage he was aware the desire to name the defendants, who were aged 10 and 11 at the time of the incident.

He also decided to defer his decision on the identification of another 11-year-old boy, who was attacked by the brothers a week before the main incident, and 11-year-old female witness.

The judge urged all news organisations who wished to be heard to contact the court promptly and suggested they instruct counsel.

Counsel for the brothers indicated the boys would be represented by independent barristers for the purposes of the reporting restrictions hearing.

The judge also made two stern pleas to photographers to stop taking pictures of the defendants as they arrived at court in cars under blankets.

He made it clear he would take firm action against individuals if he thought a contempt of court had taken place.

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