Sophie’s Justice

sophie-lancaster_28_450370a.jpgThe young teenage boy who pleaded not guilty to the brutal murder of the sweet and lovely Sophie Lancaster has today been found guilty.  He will be sentenced along with his despicable co-murderer.  They will also be sentenced with three other young boys for the savage attack on Sophie’s courageous boyfriend, Rob.  The sentences will be given in April and I can only hope that they fit the crime. 

You guys know me – I am a tolerant person.  I’ve always recognised that we are a product of our upbringing.  I’ve often argued that children who have been brought up in a culture of aggression or have been abused, neglected and trapped in a cycle of deprivation – are often judged harshly as adults when they fulfill that circle of violence.  I don’t know what kind of background these thugs are from but but I really cannot accept that a deprived upbringing would come even close to excusing such a vile and gratuitous act of cruelty.  There is simply no excuse for what they did to this innocent and defenceless couple, Sophie and Rob.

And what makes it all the more disturbing is that there is no remorse at all shown from the perpetrators.  That’s the scary thing.   This can’t go on.

Why do humans turn on each other?

To Rob – never change who you are.  They musn’t win. 

Sophie’s brave mum, Sylvia said  . . .

“Sophie was a thoughtful, sensitive individual and she would not have wanted her death to have been in vain. I hope therefore that, as a society, we can use what has happened to reflect on where we are going and what changes we need to make to prevent others suffering in this way.”



12 responses to this post.

  1. I am thinking of how these people get away with what they have done just with a sentence, with a period in prison. You say they do not seem to be remorseful for the murder and I can see from now that they will come out of prison worse than they get in. How can we fix that up, or better how can we make our representatives fix it up is the question that occurs to me.

    At their age re-education seems practically less than impossible, so my first move is the move I always propose: a radical change in education that encompasses the ethics by which we should be motivated during the course of our life.

    That way sentences for those who contravene the law will never be harsh enough. And we will not have got to be rueful for them.


  2. After having said that, another question also occurs to me: Must we not forbid all expressions that can lead to alter the outcome of that education?

    I know how supportive you are of freedom of expression but there exist limitations to everything,and as you know there are films or tv programmes that may affect the feelings of those youth that are permitted by their parents to see them, that may do away with what they have learnt during their educational period.

    Perhaps, Earthpal, this is an issue for another blog.


  3. There seems to be so much anger everywhere. We don’t just do it to each other, but to anything that crosses our path it seems.


  4. Indeed, Pete, who are cruel to animals are also cruel to persons. A life is a life, and we all depend on each other.


  5. It won’t bring Sophie back but at least the verdict is a kind of victory, I hope her family and can find at least some consolation in that.

    I’ve written down my thoughts of the murder in my blog, there’s an English version of the text as well


  6. Dearest Jose, you’ve made some interesting and important points. A lot to think about. Thanks. I know I said the boys upbringing could never justify what they did but I still feel that their parents must be accountable. The police involved said in their statement that the attitude of one of the parents during the investigation and the trial was appalling. The parent actually laughed at times! I was disgusted and I’m sad to say, I was filled with hatred for them all.

    Hi Pete. That is just appalling. Poor creatures. This is the thing. When did humans start to attack the defenceless – just for fun? Once, we would only kill for survival. Have we always had the potential to kill without reason or has the trait developed over time along with the advancement of society?

    Hi Osskall. Yes, I think it will bring some relief to the families. I’ve read your post about this. It’s very well written and I agree with everything you’ve said. Thanks.


  7. If you’re looking for reasons for atrocities like this, it may be a long search. There’s a long list of potential influences: you can blame the parents, and that might or might not be true. You can blame the educational system, which only holds water if you accept it’s right to expect the schools to take responsibility for those apects of our childrens’ upbringing that would traditionally take place in the home; moral values, manners, restraint, consideration for others. You can blame a lot of things: poverty, drugs, unemployment, media violence (news, movies, video games), peer pressure etc etc, and some of these might be true in individual cases.
    What’s interesting about the Sophie case is the idea of ‘difference’. They looked different, so they became a target. For disaffected, disconnected kids who don’t like themselves or their circumstances very much, anything different represents a challenge, because it reminds them forcibly that other people may be better off, and therefore happier, than they are. Different = better, generating jealousy, anger and violence; “If I can’t have it, they can’t have it either, smash it up”.
    The same could apply to the swan incident, the contrast between the birds’ beauty and the kids’ ugly lives provoking a mindless, brutal response.


  8. Pete, plenty of thoughtful points there.

    I suppose my questions were introspective. I jut can’t get my head round it – the actual act of cruelty, just for fun, even if it does stem from bitterness of one kind or another.


  9. I have an enquiring mind, I like to know why things happen. Just because I’ve been mulling over causes for these barbaric acts doesn’t mean I’m trying to justify or excuse them. If it were down to me I’d give ’em a bit of counselling and then string ’em all up.


  10. Me too Pete.

    And it’s right to have an enquiring mind about these things. If we don’t question things and look for possible motives, we won’t find ways of dealing with it . . . deterrents, preventative measures etc..


  11. […] of violence and turning into lazy, good-for-nothing louts.  But as Pete from Change Alley said,  there’s a long list of potential influences  and I agree that things such as poverty, family breakdown, the failure to instill values, […]


  12. […] as Pete from Change Alley said,  there’s a long list of potential influences  and I agree that things such as poverty, family breakdown, the failure to instill values, […]


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