Sophie Lancaster memorial at WGW. Picture by Tania Taylor.
Two teenagers aged 15 and 16 were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for the murder of Sophie Lancaster, age 20, last summer in Bacup, England. The teenagers, along with three others who received shorter sentences, singled out Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby for the way they dressed. They initially attacked Maltby, but turned their aggression on Lancaster as she tried to protect him. The gang “punched, stamped and jumped” on Maltby and Lancaster’s heads until both were unconscious. Robert Maltby survived, and Sophie Lancaster died a few days later.
Sophie, Robert, and the two principal attackers
I’ve been following this story ever since it broke, and its tragedy really hits me with the following 5 quotes:
“Shall we batter him?” – One of the attackers, right before the attack began
“I’m not going to get done for reporting this am I? Because all the Bacup lot will hate me because I’ve reported it.” – Girl who called the police to report the incident
“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.” – Judge Anthony Russell QC, passing the sentence
“I really just like to think I’m now only eight-months-old. I’m finding the whole world a terrifying place.” – Robert Maltby, who has no memory of the incident
“Justice can never be done because it will never bring her back.” – Sophie’s mother