While returning home though Stubbylee Park, Bacup on Saturday, 11 August 2007 Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby were subjected to a "vicious mob attack". A large group of teenagers assaulted Robert without provocation, when he was knocked unconscious the gang attacked Sophie Lancaster, who was trying to protect him by cradling him in her arms. It was a violent and viscous hate crime instigated solely on the clothes the victims wore. I wrote my thoughts on this crime when 2 main perpetrators and 3 others went to court in 2008.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, set up by Sophie's mum Sylvia, works towards awareness of hate crime & prejudice and teaching understanding & respect. Its logo is an acronym of the victims name Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. Recently they released a video depicting this violent crime, it is a beautiful and haunting look on modern life and high lights a disturbing lack of secuirty in our towns.
Today Sylvia Lancaster appeared on the Jeremy Vines show on BBC radio 2 to promote the video and has had a lot of positive feedback, I hope that they can continue the work on awareness. It is not a small scale issue or a unique case (I have been involved in incidents more than once) that needs addressing, too many people are insensitive and ignorant towards this problem. Please take a moment of your day to watch the video, and (possibly) if you feel as I do, share its message with others. Its very haunting and some my find it distressing, I for one will never hear Portishead in the same way again.