On Saturday 11th August 2007 a young girl was walking through a park with her boyfriend, on her way to a destination she would never make. Instead she ended up in a coma and on 24th August, five years ago today, she lost her battle and her family let her go into the darkness of death.
I am of course talking about Sophie Lancaster, a murder so tragic that ripped through the hearts of so many, but especially those of us that don't necessarily associate with the mainstream.
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If you don't know the details of the story, the synopsis is this: Sophie and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were walking through a park in Lancashire on their way home. They were attacked by a bunch of teenagers simply because they were 'goths'. Their head injuries were so severe that police and medics could not at first ascertain which one was male and which was female. One of the killers celebrated their attack by telling friends afterwards that they had "done summat good. There's two moshers nearly dead up Bacup Park — you wanna see them — they're a right mess."
The Sophie Lancaster foundation was established to create a lasting legacy to Sophie, focusing on stamping out prejudice and intolerance towards people from subcultures and have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from 'alternative subcultures' or 'Lifestyle and Dress'. To find out more about this very worthwhile cause, head over to http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/.
A wealth of other tributes have happened over the years, but one specifically I want to highlight is by Dark Angel, a four minute haunting animation of Sophie's story. Launched on 26th November 2009, on what would have been her 23rd birthday, its aim was to reach one million views to help raise awareness of the Foundation, however it's still only at just over 320,000. So take a moment to watch this film below, and share with everyone you can to help them reach their goal.
Prejudice does not belong in the world today. RIP Sophie.