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Questions (and answers?) > Stamped to death for looking different - Violent Children, Parents and Justice

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message 1: by Tim (last edited Mar 28, 2008 01:17PM) (new)

Tim | 86 comments Mod
"A 15-year-old boy was today convicted of kicking and stamping to death a young woman in a park because she was dressed as a Goth."

"The young couple, who had been going out for six months, were walking home from a friend's house to their flat in King Street shortly before midnight when they began chatting with a group of teenagers.

They drifted into the park where the good-natured conversation continued and they even handed out cigarettes to the group.

However, the mood changed suddenly when the five teenage boys savagely turned on Mr Maltby in the skate park area.

Someone was heard to shout "let's bang him" and the Harris started the orgy of violence with a flying kick to his head.

The gang, described in court as "acting like a pack of wild animals", then punched, jumped and stamped on his head until he was unconscious.

Miss Lancaster cried for them to stop as she cradled her boyfriend's head on her lap.

Her plea went unheeded as Herbert delivered a volley kick to her face, with Harris joining in to kick and stamp on her head as she lay on the ground.

When paramedics arrived and found the couple lying side by side covered in blood, they could not tell what sex she was such was the severity of the injuries to her face. The pattern of some footwear was still on her head.

Both fell into comas but Miss Lancaster never regained consciousness and died in hospital 13 days later. "

"He told police he did not know why he did it and was just "drunk and showing off"."

The mother of the girl who was murdered said,

""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."

The police said,

""Their behaviour that night was that they were doing what they wanted with their parents doing nothing about it or not knowing about it. There was a total lack of parental control.

"I am very critical of some of the parents involved. I really don't think they have taken completely seriously how repulsive this incident was."

He said that when Harris was initially interviewed about the assaults he was "laughing and joking" with his mother.

"The interviewing officer had to speak to Harris's solicitor to make sure they knew the gravity of the situation because they were laughing and joking.

"The general attitude of the defendants' parents during the whole process has been appalling.

"Sophie's mother also commented to us that the three defendants who were convicted of assaulting Robert Maltby were sniggering at her outside court before the start of the trial.""


Utterly disgusting and abhorrent unprovoked slaughter. My gut feeling is to want those killers eradicated, permanently. They had done something similar before, they did it again..

Now, with my rational head on, the comments from the mother and police are interesting and worth discussing i think.

Is there something that can be learnt from this? If so, what can be done to prevent this happening again? Or can it not be prevented? Are we simply murderous barbarians getting our kicks out of kicking people to death?

Is it truly possible that the teenagers, who have a history of violence and glorifying in it, have lives worth living in a society that condemns such unprovoked violence?

Could it be said that the government which unleashes murderous unprovoked violence upon innocent people such as its bombing of cities in Iraq, is a hypocritical example?


I am wondering, the criticism levelled at the parents of the murderers is perhaps very valid.

I wonder if making parents fully responsible for their children, under law, may be a solution?

If a child, lets say under age 16, commits a crime, then the parents are the ones who are jointly guilty.

This would work well with a system of punishment or restitution i think is the correct term(as per our other topic) in which "blood" money was payable to the victim or victim's family.

That puts the onus on the parents to bring up their children in a "better way" (huge kettle of fish i know) and indeed to control them.

I am a firm believer in nurture having a greater and wider impact upon individuals than nature. ie i do not believe that humans are born sadistic pointless murderers, they become that.

Thoughts on all of this?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This level of brutality is a combination of nature, nurture and environment
parents can offset a lot of negative in their childrens personality by discipline, teaching, nuturing and offering alternatives
however, it is an increasingly difficult job with less and less support
the village has been decimated by the violence in our society, both state sponsored, peer group motivated and "entertainment" influenced
few parents hadve the intelligence, strength, courage and conviction to be effective
and those that do find themselves isolated and only partially effective
i like to think i instilled a value system in my children however all three have made choices that are in direct opposition to those values

more later-got to go-darn

message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara Mcnamara (xelfiex) | 4 comments I might be just making a wild guess but i would say these children are not the kind that go to church every sunday, having said that, they are probably severly deficient in morals!. I'm not a religious nut or anything, i go to church occasionally, dont pray at all and im not exactly the most saintly of people!
But i did experience an epiphany on this subject while waiting for a bus home about a year ago: I was talking to a mature woman about general things, she was a teacher, she told me about kids acting up etc.. and from the way she was i could tell she was very religious. Neway, what i realsied was that humans are animals whether we want to accept it or not, but, religion and MAKING A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO DO GOOD, is what sets us apart from animals.
Doing good is also another word for thinking before you act. Those children saw those goths as something they hated, they did not stop to consider that these people were just people like them.

message 4: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywins) | 103 comments Sara..A gang of animals would not stomp their fellow species to death "for fun". In a fight over territory, a mate,food...or to protect their young, many animals will fight their fellows..even to the death (individual combat normally). However, this kind of behavior, a "senseless murder" for entertainment or to show off or due to being drunk seems to be something special to animals like us and perhaps has been documented in "wars" between tribes of some primates special fights due to emotion (anger,revenge,fear,"hate") to kill rather than drive off or assert dominance over territory or resources. Making a conscious effort to do bad not to a different species but to one's own, wantonly and needlessly seems a human thing.

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