Saturday, 23 April 2011

Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred And Intolerance Everywhere

Saturday, 11 August 2007
Sophie Lancaster, 20 along with her boyfriend, Robert Maltby was attacked by a number of males in their late teens while walking through Stubbylee Park in bacup,  Rossendale in Lancashire. As a result of her severe head injuries she went into a coma, never regained consciousness, and later died. The police said the attack may have been provoked by the couple's wearing "Gothic Clothing".
The details are so terrible that i can barley make myself write them. They where followed through the park and then Rob Sophie's boyfriend was attacked by a group of young boys the term i like to use is pack of rabid dogs! He was knocked unconscious with Sophie cradling his head in her arms they then turned on her They were running over and just kicking her in the head and jumping up and down on her head. Police said soon afterwards it was, "a sustained attack during the course of which the pair received serious head injuries and their faces were so swollen we could not ascertain which one was female and which one was male. Both were hospitalised as a result of the attack, initially at Rochdale Infirmary. Maltby's injuries left him in a coma with bleeding on the brain, but he gradually recovered over the next two weeks. Lancaster, in a deep coma, was moved to Fairfield Hospital in Bury, then to the neurology unit at Hope Hospital in Salford It became clear to hospital staff she would not recover from her injuries, and on 24 August 2007 her family agreed to switch off life support and she died.

Sentencing in the case was set for 28 April 2008. Both Harris and Herbert were sentenced to life imprisonment with the trial judge recommending that Harris should serve at least eighteen years and Herbert at least sixteen years and three months.
In his closing remarks the judge described the attack as "feral thuggery" which raised serious questions about the "sort of society which exists in this country". He added: "This was a terrible case which has shocked and outraged all who have heard about it. At least wild animals, when they hunt in packs, have a legitimate reason for so doing, to obtain food. You have none and your behaviour on that night degrades humanity itself.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation

Following the horrific murder of Sophie Lancaster, her family wanted to ensure a lasting legacy to their beautiful, bright creative daughter and so The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was established and it became a registered charity in 2009

The Charity.

(number 1129689)
The aims and objectives of the Charity are as follows:
  • To create a lasting legacy to Sophie.
  • To provide educational group-works that will challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
  • To campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from “alternative subcultures” or “Lifestyle and Dress”
So far, to meet these aims and objectives we have promoted the Foundation nationally and internationally, ensuring Sophie is recognised in the media and elsewhere. This has involved Sylvia Lancaster being interviewed many times for TV and Newspapers and many magazines have included features on Sophie’s death and the work of Sylvia in setting up the Foundation. Including a “Tonight With Trevor McDonald” special.
The partnership with Illamasqua and Propaganda has proved invaluable and The Foundation is proud to work with them. Their profile in the beauty and business world has carried the work of the Foundation into new areas and brought new supporters and collaborators to join us.
Their creation of Dark Angel to commemorate Sophie’s 23rd birthday was inspirational. It is a profound, powerful animation that was premiered in Manchester city centre and on MTV. Please watch it above if you have not yet seen it.
Through Propaganda, the Foundation was introduced to Huthwaites, an international training company, and they have worked with Sylvia to develop educational group-works which will incorporate the Dark Angel film and a game that challenges the perceptions of young people and hopefully professionals about people who are from alternative subcultures. These will be ready for schools after Easter 2010.
Other partners include The Anne Frank UK Trust, who include Sophie and Rob’s attack and death in their touring exhibition and in January 2010, Sylvia was invited to light a candle in memory of Sophie at the Holocaust Memorial Commemoration Lunch at Park Lane Hilton. They correctly recognise that Sophie’s death was a Hate Crime and represents the face of prejudice and intolerance in 2010.
Bizarre magazine have created a “Proud to be Different” page in their monthly magazine, dedicated to the work of the Foundation and they have supported our work from the onset. The political and social campaign to highlight the issue of the prejudice and hatred faced by alternatives has been very high profile and has led to Sylvia now being on the Hate Crime Advisory Board to the UK government and is working closely with the people responsible for writing the Police Association’s Manual.
Having met with the Justice Minister, Jack Straw, at The Ministry of Justice in May 2009 to discuss the need to update the legislation, The Foundation was pointed to examples of good practice in Local Government who were addressing the issue. Bolton council had extended their definition of hate crime’s to include “life style and dresscode” following Sophie’s death. Sylvia is now on various LA boards helping them shape their policies and procedures.

You can also help now by wearing your wristband money spent will go to the Sophie Lancaster foundation.

How I Plan To Spread Awareness
On the 11th of august i want to upload a video but not just me i want everyone who wants to get involved to make a make-up video inspired by Sophie. You can be as creative as you want i want to show Sylvia and Robert that we all still have Sophie in our hearts. On her anniversary of her death show that it was not in vein that we all should have the freedom to be ourselves and dress as we like. This is so important to me because no one should ever be treated this way we all should treat people how we would like to be treated i do hope you want to get involved you can get in touch with me through twitter or my facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you.