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The murder of Sophie Lancaster occurred in the United Kingdom in 2007.The victim, along with her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, was attacked by a number of males in their mid-teens while walking through Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Rossendale, in Lancashire.
The police said the attack may have been linked to the couple wearing gothic fashion and being members of the goth subculture.Plays, films, art and books have dealt with the issues surrounding the murder.Sophie Lancaster (born 26 November 1986) was a former pupil at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, Haslingden High School and a gap year student planning to attend Accrington and Rossendale College to do an English degree.She had been dating Maltby, a 21-year-old art student at Manchester, for three years, and they both had a long-standing attachment to the goth subculture.The couple's family described them as "Goths", and said: "They're both intelligent, sensitive kids.They're not the sort of people to get in trouble, but they have had problems in the past because they stand out." "We were proud to know our daughter. She was a beautiful girl with a social conscience and values which made her a joy to know.
Not being able to see her blossom into her full potential or even to see her smile again is a tragedy beyond words." "The thing that makes me most angry is that it is seen as an isolated incident, maybe the seriousness of what happened to Sophie is isolated, but attacks are far from isolated.
Just because you follow a different culture you are targeted; you are seen as easy pickings." Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times noted after the murder that the victims of the attack had paid the price for the indulgence of the "feral" criminals who perpetrated it "by their parents, by the courts, by the council, by a government which wants to send fewer such people to prison." While returning home, Lancaster and Maltby were subjected to a "vicious mob attack" from "a large group of people" between hours and hours on Saturday, 11 August 2007, at the skate park area of Stubbylee Park, Bacup (grid reference The group followed them, but there was no trouble until some of them suddenly assaulted Robert Maltby without provocation.
Five teenage boys were later arrested and charged with murder.
Two of them were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The other three were convicted and jailed for grievous bodily harm.
A memorial fund was established in Sophie's name, and numerous events have paid tribute to her locally, nationally and abroad.