A 23-year-old man with learning difficulties has died in hospital after being attacked by a teenage gang on a housing estate.
Doctors had feared Brent Martin might not survive the weekend after suffering a catalogue of injuries in the unprovoked late night attack.
Detectives hunting the youths have now urged parents "to think about what their children were doing" on the night when he was set upon by a gang of at least five youths.
The attack happened on the Town End Farm estate, in Sunderland, around 10pm on Thursday night.
Mr Martin, a local man, died this morning in Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Northumbria Police described the incident as a "prolonged, savage attack" which is believed to have been carried out over a period of time.
His attackers are believed to be between 16 and 17 and at least two were wearing hooded tops pulled up around their heads.
They only needed a hug...
Meanwhile, The Guardian has an interview with a self-proclaimed "Nogzy soldier" - a member of a criminal gang based in the Norris Green area of Liverpool, close to where eleven year-old Rhys Jones was shot dead on Wednesday:
We are good us, we never do robbing. The Crocky [a gang based in the Croxteth area of the city - FR] does robbing. We do grafting. Mostly cars, I suppose I rob about two cars a month and sell them on.No, I would think not.
I've been done for possession of crack cocaine - I was selling it, not doing it - and threats to kill. I've just got out a couple of months ago, I got two years for assault on a police officer and criminal damage for smashing a police van up. I was in the Farms [Lancaster Farm young offenders institution in Lancashire] and [HMP] Altcourse.I've had charges since I was 10 or 11, all different assaults and that. My mum and dad were not too happy.
I wonder whether there is some remote and uninhabited island to which all these bloodthirsty scum can be shipped off en masse, armed with as many guns and knives as they can carry, and left to fight to the death, a la Battle Royale? After all, would it really matter if they all killed each other off? I can't imagine that I would shed many tears were such a scenario to eventuate. Neither, I imagine, would many of those who live in areas infested with these vermin.
Of course, the Battle Royale option will most likely not be put into practice any time soon. Therefore, more prosaic methods will need to be used to stop the gangs. Now, it seems to me that the only thing these gangs will actually respond to is force; specifically, force greater than that which they are capable of exercising. As such, I believe that, in the worst sink estates, where the police have completely failed to tackle the gangs, the army should be sent in to maintain order. Perhaps they might have more success in keeping these scum under control than the police have enjoyed.