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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Tribute to victim of park attack
Sophie Lancaster
Sophie was attacked while in the park with her boyfriend
The parents of a 20-year-old woman who died in hospital after she was attacked in a park have called her death "a tragedy beyond words".

Sophie Lancaster and her 21-year-old boyfriend Robert Maltby were found with serious head injuries in Stubbylee park in Bacup, Rossendale, on 11 August.

Mr Maltby was left in a coma with bleeding on his brain. He has since recovered but is still in hospital.

Five teenage boys have been charged with section 18 wounding.

She was a beautiful girl with a social conscience and values, which made her a joy to know
Sylvia and John Lancaster, Sophie's parents

Sylvia and John Lancaster, Sophie's parents, said: "We were proud to know our daughter. She was funny, kind, loving and brave.

"She was a beautiful girl with a social conscience and values, which made her a joy to know."

They added: "Not being able to see her blossom into her full potential, or even to see her smile again, is a tragedy beyond words."

The couple were taken to Rochdale Infirmary after the attack, before Miss Lancaster was transferred to Fairfield Hospital, Bury, and then Hope Hospital's neurology unit in Salford, where she died on Friday morning.

A 15-year-old and a 17-year-old have been remanded in custody, while two 15-year-olds and 17-year-old were released on bail.

They are all due to appear before Burnley Youth Court on 27 September.

Woman dies following gang attack
24 Aug 07 |  Lancashire

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