Thursday, 13 March 2008

The trial of those charged with the murder of Sophie Lanacaster has begun. For anyone who doesn't know Sophie was kicked to death in August last year by a group who had already kicked her boyfriend to the point of coma. The reason for this viscious and sustained attack was apprently because Sophie and her boyfriend were 'goths'. The defendants are all teeenagers bewteen 14 and 17.

One defendent has admitted murder and several GBH, but one is denying murder, hence the trial.

I am sad for Sophie's family; that any parent should lose a child is heartbreaking, but the circumstances are tragic.

I am incredulous; that any group of people could carry out such a cowardly and pointless attack.

I am angry; that there has not been a national public outcry.

It is time to take action. We cannot allow this kind of violence to continue. We seem to be breeding a generation that includes a class of individual whose only purpose is to inflict pain and suffering on others. Clearly they are being failed by their parents who must take responsibility for the moral welfare and consequently values expressed by these young people. It is time to either force this responsibility onto parents or remove their children from what is effectively an abusive environment. All agencies, school, Government, parents, voluntary groups must blanket children from an early age with the continuous message that violence is wrong. No ifs, buts or maybes; just wrong. The punishment for violence must be remedial and if the individual is unable to reform then the ultimate sanction must be removal from society.

If we cannot see the need to address both cause and outcome then we are inviting the onset of chaos; a society where violence rules and the brutal make life for everbody else miserable.

Action needs to be taken now. If you agree then write to your MP, or your local newspaper. Demand that those with the power raise this issue as a priority and involve all agencies in devising a planned approach to eliminate this problem.

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