Sophie Lancaster

It was 10 years ago a friendly, cheerful, bubbly, carefree goth woman was ‘beaten’ to death by a group of teenage boys in a skate park just for dressing differently. 

Sophie Lancaster was just 20 years old and she had died trying to protect her boyfriend Robert Maltby. Maltby survived but was in a coma, his head injury was so bad that he never even remembered being attacked. 

It was only the witness who gave a statement and testified that managed to bring the violent thugs to justice as Maltby had no memory of the attack.

Dressing differently or living a different lifestyle to someone else shouldn’t be a death sentence. 

I remembered when I was in my late teens in college and my family and I had saw in the local newspaper that a student at Lea Manor High had committed suicide after being teased by other students for being a goth. The mother was haunted by endless calls to her deceased daughter’s mobile phone. It was horrible and we felt nothing but sympathy. A life ended for clothes? A hairstyle? Makeup?

I once dressed as a goth and people who went to school and college with me laughed at me or thought I was copying someone else. I fitted in with the people at a nightclub my brother drank at and I had made new friends but we both faced trials from the public’s eye. Whilst walking into the town centre dressed as we wanted, a pair of common youths laughed at us and made comments.

After I watched BBC’s “Murdered for Being Different“, I tried very hard to hold back my tears and I could only think to myself “Why would anyone want to ‘kill’ another person just because they dress different?” and I’m still not getting an answer and the question is still inside my head. 

I never knew Lancaster but I wish I did, she died protecting someone she loved. How often is it that someone dies for the sake of love?

Why should people face a death sentence for wanting to be themselves?

Photo credit: Google Images™