Murder of Sophie Lancaster
In the early morning hours of August 11, 2007, Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were passing through Stubbylee Park in Lancashire, UK, when they were attacked by a group of teenage boys who beat the couple savagely, resulting in Lancaster’s death two weeks later. The next day, police arrested two of the teenagers responsible for the attack, who told authorities they’d attacked the young couple for no other reason than they were dressed like “Goths.”
The tragic assault on the young couple was shocking in and of itself, but the murder was made exponentially more shocking by the ages of the killers and the ostensibly terroristic motive, raising questions about the state of youth culture in the United Kingdom.
thank you to the best of the best, David White for research assistance
BBC. 2022. Sophie Lancaster murder: Killer Ryan Herbert to be freed from jail. March 12. Accessed March 1, 2023. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-60766768.
Bunyan, Nigel. 2008. "Why did parents let Goth's killers roam the streets?" Daily Telegraph, March 28.
Butt, Riazet. 2007. "National: 'Tragedy beyond words' for family as woman, 20, dies after park attack." The Guardian, August 25.
Dunbar, Polly. 2008. "I've always tried to help young people escape crime." Mail on Sunday, March 30.
Evening Courier. 2008. "Boy, 15, 'kicked woman to death for being a goth'." Evening Courier , March 12.
—. 2008. "Two teenagers jailed for life for murder of Goth girl Sophie." Evening Courier, April 28.
Gordon, Cathy. 2008. "Goth's killers lose appeals; Teenagers must pay for 'appalling crime'." Daily Post, October 30.
Hodkinson, Mark. 2008. "United in the name of tolerance." The Guardian, August 2.
Hussain, Samrana. 2007. "Couple left badly beaten in skate park." Lancashire Telegraph, August 12.
Jackson, Kate. 2007. "Residents call for park patrols after woman’s death." Lancashire Telegraph, August 27.
Jenkins, Russell. 2008. "Youth aged 15 'kicked a woman to death because she was a Goth'." The Times, March 13.
Lancashire Telegraph. 2020. "Sophie Lancaster killer has minimum jail term cut for 'exceptional progress'." Lancashire Telegraph, February 10.
Manzoor, SarFraz. 2014. "The precious afterlife of Sophie Lancaster." Sunday Telegraph, February 23.
Rossendale Free Press. 2007. "Young couple fighting for their lives after vicious ‘mob attack’." Rossendale Free Press, August 16: https://www.rossendalefreepress.co.uk/news/local-news/young-couple-fighting-lives-after-1709148.
Smyth, Catherine. 2020. Weirdo, Mosher, Freak: The Murder of Sophie Lancaster. Lancashire, UK: Self-published.
Turner, Kate. 2007. "Skatepark youth 'may face murder charge'." This is Lancashire, September 27.
Usborne, Simon. 2017. "Robert Maltby on the murder of his girlfriend Sophie Lancaster." The Guardian, June 15: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/15/robert-maltby-on-the-of-his-girlfriend-sophie-lancaster-the-goth-thing-was-an-oversimplification.
Wainwright, Martin. 2008. "Woman died after drunken gang attacked couple dressed as." The Guardian, March 13.