SOPHIE LANCASTER - MURDERED FOR BEING A GOTH
Sophie was a 20-year-old beautiful girl born on the 26th of November 1986 in Lancashire, England. In her childhood, Sophie was always very close to her mother Sylvia and brother Adam. Sylvia explains Sophie as being someone that was “quite unusual from a young age”, she didn’t even have a great number of school partners, she was relatively introverted. Sylvia told that Sophie was a nervous girl but at the exact time she could be bubbly and chatty. She explains her as always being an “alternative”. She would waste hours putting her makeup on and doing her hair, she took pride in her unique look.
As Sophie reached her teenage years, she created her unique style, she was commonly realized as a “goth”. Sophie and her friends had a big fascination with heavy metal music. She felt joy and happiness when she was explaining herself through her style and the clothing that she wore. Sophie liked being a part of the gothic social scene and society, they were like home to her and felt like she belonged. She would go to music gigs with her partners from the goth society, her first-ever gig was Marilyn Manson. Sophie came together with her boyfriend Robert Maltby within this society also.
Sophie and Rob hit it off right away and they shortly started dating, anyone that understood them said they were soul mates. Rob was also a goth; he was into all the exact music and explaining himself through his clothes. Sophie's mother Sylvia had wished that Sophie and Rob would get married and have kids together. By August 2007, they were residing together in a small apartment in Bacup, Lancashire. Rob was an art student and Sophie was about to begin her degree in English. Sophie liked books, especially Harry Potter.
It was 11th August 2007, they had spent the evening at a mate's home in Bacup, having a couple of drinks. At around 11.30 pm Sophie and Rob left the house and began stepping back to their apartment. On their way, they stayed at a garage to buy some cigarettes where they bumped into a group of girls who they hadn’t noticed before. These young girls were interested in Sophie and Rob's appearance and clothing, they were inquiring about their piercings and their sense of fashion. They all appeared to get on well so the couple accepted to go to the park with these girls to talk and hang out some more.
At around 1 am, Sophie and Rob decided they were prepared for home, as they were stepping away, a group of 5 teenage boys began screaming abuse at them, they were screaming “moshers” and “goths”, mainly aiming towards Rob. The couple avoided it and just kept walking. This irritated the teenagers; they wished a rise out of Sophie and Rob but they were not bringing one. This was when the boys moved toward Rob and started to assault him. They were kicking and punching Rob everywhere but mostly his head. This resulted in him falling to the earth and being knocked unconscious.
Whilst Rob was being assaulted, Sophie was crying and asking them to stop but they would not. After severely beating Rob, the attackers stepped away and left Sophie cradling his head on the earth. However, the assault didn’t end there.
A few minutes later, the gang returned and started to assault Sophie. Just like Rob, they were kicking and punching her but they were also falling on her head. The attack was extremely nasty and vicious. When they had completed, the teenagers escaped the scene and left Sophie and Rob lifeless, lying in a pool of their blood on the ground.
A few minutes later, after the teenagers had left, a young girl discovered the couple lying on the ground, she phoned 999 right away. When the paramedics came, they couldn’t even say which one was male and female as they were both so painfully wounded and swollen. They were both in critical situations and were hurried to the intensive care unit.
When Sophie’s mum Sylvia reached the hospital, she didn’t even recognize her daughter. Her face was so painfully wounded and swollen, her ears were big and full of pus, she had shoe dents on her full face. Huge pieces of her hair had been yanked out meaning that part of her scalp was skipping. Sophie was on life support at this time. Rob's family members were also at his bedside whilst he was in a coma. Rob had been hit in the head so badly that he sustained bleeding on the brain.
Rob did begin to show signs of progress and doctors were confident that he would make a complete recovery. Sophie, on the other hand,d, wasn’t showing any indications of recovery, and her mother was informed that if she was to pull through, it's likely that she would have some brain destruction.
On the 21st of August 2007, Sophie was brought for a brain scan to test if there was any brain process. When the conclusions came back, it indicated that there was no brain movement at all, she was brain dead. Sophie’s family now had to endure the end of her life. On the 24th August 2007, 13 days after the assault, Sophie’s life support device was switched off and she expired with her family at her bedside.
By early November, Rob had healed enough to quit the hospital. His physical wounds were healing, however, his mind and sensitive scars continued. He was able to visit his girlfriend Sophie’s funeral on November 12th, 2007.
Five teenage boys had been charged for the attack, two of them were sentenced to life in jail for the killing of Sophie Lancaster. The other three attackers were accused for their involvement in the attack on Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby. They were given prison time between 4-6 years each.
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