Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby were friends and lovers. One evening last summer these twenty year olds walked through Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire with their whole lives in front of them. They were attired as "Goths" and this was apparently enough reason for a gang of teenage nobodies to set about them. Robert was kicked and punched to the ground and when Sophie screamed for the mob to cease their mindless assault, they turned on her and as good as killed her with their cruel thuggery before running away.
Hospital staff later tried desperately to save her but the damage had been done. Two of the "boys" were sent down for many years today - accused specifically of Sophie's murder while a further three were imprisoned for the initial vicious assault on Robert. The judge hesitated to liken them to animals because when packs of animals attack and kill they have a survival purpose but what happened in that park was without reason. If there was a God, I would say God Bless to Sophie - may you rest in peace and as Robert tries to rebuild his life in a world he now fears, all I can say is that my heart goes out to you. I was going to display the faces of the thugs below with their empty eyes - none of them more than seventeen - but when I saw them in the intended post I felt unnerved. What made them like this? And how many others are lurking in the dark shadows of our parks, our streets and our nightmares? Instead here's a picture of Sophie, alive, drinking a glass of red wine, searching for herself through the medium of the Goth subculture which enthralled her. Her twenty three year old brother said "Although the sentences seem fitting and appropriate, no sentence is long enough to compensate for the loss of Sophie."