Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 11:16 UK

Goth death mother in respect plea

Sylvia Lancaster is disappointed with the judicial system

The mother of a young woman kicked to death because she was a Goth has said young people need to learn how to respect those who dress differently.

Brendan Harris, 15, and Ryan Herbert, 16, were jailed for life for killing Sophie Lancaster in Bacup, Lancashire, in Stubbylee Park last August.

Her mother, Sylvia, said what young people from alternative subcultures face "doesn't bear thinking about".

She is calling for new legislation to protect people from other subcultures.

Mrs Lancaster has already set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to help raise awareness of different subcultures among young people.

It's a hidden prejudice and hopefully the Sophie campaign will raise awareness of that
Sylvia Lancaster

She said people needed to be taught how to show respect and tolerance for those whose appearance and culture may seem different from their own.

Speaking on Radio 5 live, she said: "How many attacks have we heard of in the last six months of youths stamping and jumping on people?

"It isn't acceptable, there are members of society who think that that is perfectly OK, and it is just not right.

"If young people show signs of anti-social behaviour at a young age then we need to intervene at that stage."

Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby
Miss Lancaster was attacked as she cradled her boyfriend

Miss Lancaster was with her boyfriend Robert Maltby when they were attacked on 11 August 2007.

She was in a coma after suffering head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Mr Maltby, an art student, also fell into a coma, but recovered and has since left hospital.

Mrs Lancaster said what happened to her daughter was not an isolated incident.

"I've been out with both Rob and Sophie and I've heard people verbally abuse them," she said.

"It's a hidden prejudice and hopefully the Sophie campaign will raise awareness of that."

Ryan Herbert (left) and Brendan Harris
Herbert and Harris kicked and stamped Ms Lancaster to death

At Preston Crown Court on Monday Harris was told he must serve a minimum of 18 years and Herbert 16 years.

Brothers Joseph, 17, and Danny Hulme, 16, both of Landgate, Whitworth, near Bacup, and Daniel Mallett, 17, of Rockcliffe Drive, Bacup, all pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Maltby.

Mallett was sentenced to four years and four months and the Hulme brothers for five years and 10 months each.

Brendan Harris had denied murder, but was convicted last month, while Ryan Herbert pleaded guilty before the trial started.


SEE ALSO
Boys sentenced over Goth murder
28 Apr 08 |  Lancashire
Memorial bench for Goth victim
26 Apr 08 |  Lancashire
The darker side of life as a Goth
27 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Anger of park attack survivor
27 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Mother's 'contempt' for killers
30 Mar 08 |  Lancashire
Boy convicted of Goth park murder
27 Mar 08 |  Lancashire

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