'Narcissistic cult' brothers put into care

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Image caption The case was heard by the Family Division of the High Court

Three teenage brothers should be taken from their mother and put into care, having developed a "narcissistic cult" mentality, a High Court judge has said.

The boys, who were not sent to school and suffered from a lack of food and healthcare, were led to believe they should not socialise or go outside.

Their mother, who cannot be identified, had mental health issues.

Psychotherapists said the brothers had "formed a group identity" and "saw themselves as intellectually superior".

Mr Justice Hayden, the judge, said the children had been placed in temporary residential care while further decisions could be made about their futures.

He said they should not be returned to their mother.

Reward system

Social services said the trio had come to believe there was "no purpose to attending school, leaving the home or socialising with others", while two psychotherapists said they saw themselves as "separate to the rest of the world".

They said a "cult mentality" had developed. One described it as a "narcissistic cult".

Two of the boys were said to have communicated with each other in a secret language.

The court was also told about the strict reward system imposed on the boys.

"There was an elaborate and quite rigid structure to their interactions predicated on an achievement and award system," Mr Justice Hayden said.

"Achievement of particular tasks enabled time on the computer or an opportunity to pet and stroke the cat."

The boys are now in the care of Wandsworth Council social services.

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