Something needs to change.

These prize specimens are Brendan Harris who is 15 years old and Ryan Herbert who is 16. Yesterday they were in court. What for? Was it for nicking car stereos? Nope. Was it for affray or showing their pant-rats on the upper deck of the number 93 bus? Nope. It was for something else entirely.



Robert MaltbySophie Lancaster

Robert Maltby and Sophie Lancaster were taking a walk through a park in Bacup, not very far from where I live. Bacup is a very ordinary Lancashire town, maybe not that affluent but pretty ordinary. Anyway, Sophie and Robert were taking a stroll. As they were walking through the park they were noticed by Brendan Harris and Ryan Herbert and their little gang of chav chums and this group of morons didn't like the fact that the pair were goths. As has come out in recent weeks, Goths aren't any strangers to verbal abuse but that isn't what Harris and Herbert went for, possibly because the single brain cell that the gang had between them was out on loan that day. They were drunk and they started to attack Robert Maltby. They beat him till he lost consciousness. They did this:


While he lay on the ground his girlfriend, Sophie, held on to him and shouted at them to stop. So they started on her. They kicked her and punched her and when she was on the ground they jumped up and down on her head. Some youngsters who were in the park at the time called an ambulance and it and the police arrived. The two goths were so badly beaten that the police couldn't tell from the faces which was male and which was female.

Robert Maltby eventually recovered but Sophie Lancaster never regained consciousness and she died 2 weeks after the attack.

This sounds horrific, it is horrific, but the frightening thing is that in Britain today it is not unique. A few weeks ago a youth was charged with the murder of Gary Newlove. Mr Newlove had challenged some drunken youths about their behaviour so this vile little excuse for a human being beat him to death in front of his daughters.

A few months back a young Asian man was beaten to death for daring to tell off some scumlord lad who was throwing rubbish into his sister's car.

I don't know about the countryside but people in cities are now frightened of teenagers. It's a fact. 5 years ago I lived in Salford, a shit area of Manchester with a lot of poverty. I drove a 12 year old nissan Micra and it kept getting broken into. One night I came back from the pub and I heard a noise outside. I looked out of the window to see a group of about 5 chavs trying once again to lever open the door of my car. I saw red and went haring out of the front door shrieking like a scalded banshee. The youths took one look at the rather drunk, half undressed screeching harpy heading their way and obviously decided I was mentally unbalanced. They legged it and I went back inside. I wouldn't do that now. If I saw a gang breaking into my car now I would quietly phone the police and wait for an officer who won't come because they are too busy dealing with drunken scum who are causing bigger problems elsewhere in the city. Then I'd dig out my insurance details and wait for a claim number. I would never, ever challenge a group of kids because I, like most other people in this country, am aware that many of these kids now carry knives and worse than that, they know no fear.

Not everyone is like me. When some morons threw a firework at his disabled daughter, Dave, who used to live next door, went into his kitchen, grabbed an enormous carving knife, scaled the fence and the wall, grabbed the nearest chav and held him against the wall with a knife to his throat till he apologised to both Dave and his daughter and promised never to do anything so silly again. But I'm not like Dave, I was never in the foreign legion and frankly, I'm just not that tough. I'd get the shit kicked out of me and no mistake.

The government thinks that the problem is drink. One of the 2 little scrotum-dwellers that kicked Sophie and Robert to pieces in the park said that he'd drunk 2 litres of cider, peach schnapps and lager when he attacked them. Christ, if I'd drunk that much I wouldn't be in a park picking on people who don't look like me, i'd be in Manchester Royal Infirmary having my stomach pumped and wondering why I was suck a fucking pillock. Maybe drink does come into it, all the cowardly wastes of space who attack in gangs seem to claim that they were pissed at the time.

Personally I think that drink is only part of the problem. The main problem is that they have no fear. They aren't scared of the police, they aren't scared of a custodial sentence because unless a crime is as horrendous as Harris and Herbert's then the chances are they won't get jailed. We don't have any space left in prisons anyway. They've been told for years that it isn't their fault they are fucking feral and have the brains and the emotional depth of teaspoons, it's society's fault. It is the fault of the middle classes for having too much and not sharing it. They think they can do anything they like because the world owes them something and they feel hard done by. They know their rights but they don't give a shit about the rights of anyone else, for example the right of a young couple to walk through a park without being beaten into unconsciousness.

They are frankly frightening.

So what is the answer? I don't know. Maybe there isn't one. Maybe this bunch of complete twats is just too far gone and the best thing to do is to pack up and leave for somewhere a bit less menacing, the countryside perhaps, or better still, abroad. What I suspect may happen is the rise of vigilante groups, groups of men and women who have had enough of seeing their cars vandalised, their families abused and who have had enough of being too scared to venture out after dark on a Friday night. Perhaps our cities will start to experience curfews. I really don't know but what I do know is that I'm 28 and even I can remember a time when Manchester wasn't nearly as scary a place as it is now. Knives, guns and violence, that's all you hear about. I was born and brought up in this city but I sure as hell wouldn't bring a child up here now, not in a million years. Don't get me wrong, it's not all bad but the bad is beginning to outweigh the good.

Something needs to change but I'm buggered if I know how to make it happen. Tragically the government and the police are buggered if they know either so I suspect that Sophie and Robert won't be the last people we see on the news getting murdered by mindless little arsewipes who haven't got the brains to spell their own name let alone give a reasoned argument as to why they are so angry.

Perhaps Britain is just fucked.  


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4 Responses

  1. We have the same issues in Australia, no one is safe anymore, especially if you dare to be a little different. people no longer see others as a real person. We are all desentised to each other, and so intolerant of difference. As I mentioned in my post about out rip to the ER, there was a young man there who had been bashed as he walked down the street. If they want you shoes, or your phone, or are just bored they attack. There must be an answer….

  2. I'm sorry to read this. It happens here as well.

  3. Very powerful post, Vicola. It's saddening to see how societies have changed so much in the last decade or more. I used to live in Nottingham and wouldn't think twice about walking back home from the city centre late at night. I don't think I'd be doing that now somehow (although a lot of that is media suggestion in my mind, no doubt). People feel rather helpless now to do anything about what's going on, that's for certain. And once again, I feel myself asking, "Where are the parents?".Anyway, thank you for the post!

  4. I make a point of avoiding the news these days as its so depressing, but I did hear about this, and it made me feel ill. I don't know who's to blame, if its parents, or society as a whole — I just think we have too much, and too little values — and perhaps most importantly of all, society is so splintered, there is no sense of community, so sense of empathy or understanding of what we are doing to others.Great post.

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