updated 10/19/2007 9:41:45 PM ET 2007-10-20T01:41:45

A judge sentenced five boys to two years in prison Friday for stoning a 67-year-old man who collapsed and died of a heart attack as he played cricket with his son.

The boys, the youngest of whom was 10, were convicted in August of manslaughter.

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard told the Central Criminal Court the boys went on a rampage in February 2006, smashing windows and challenging another group of children to a fight in Erith, southeast London, before setting upon Ernest Norton and his son, James.

The boys threw a hail of sticks and stones at Norton. Two stones, one the size of half a brick, struck the father of two on the temple and fractured his cheekbone. Norton collapsed on the ground from a heart attack, Orchard said.

Some of the boys — who are now aged 12 to 14 and cannot be identified because they are under 18 — wept and hugged their parents as Judge Warwick McKinnon sentenced them to two years in a youth detention center.

“First you abused him and his son, then spat at him and then launched a barrage of missiles at him,” McKinnon said. “He suffered a heart attack and died — all this before the eyes of his son who had to watch his father die.”

The youngest boy admitted throwing five stones. His lawyer, Nicholas Valios, said the boy was “perhaps one of the youngest to ever stand trial in this court” and argued that elsewhere in Europe the age required for criminal responsibility is much higher.

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