A group set up to tackle hate crime after the merciless murder of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster has spoken of its shock over a brutal Fife attack on a “goth” teenager.
A 16-year-old girl appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court to admit the savage assault, which came after threats were issued on Facebook.
The girl knocked her young victim to the ground and stamped on her head after stating she did not want her friend “being friends with a goth”.
She had written on Facebook: “I’ll kick your gothy face” and “I’ll stab f*** out of you.”
Deferring sentence, a sheriff pointed out the attack could easily have been fatal.
Parallels attack on ‘goth’ Sophie Lancaster
The case has shocking parallels to the attack on Sophie Lancaster in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007.
She was killed after having her head repeatedly stamped on as she walked through a park.
Her mother set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to tackle hate crime.
The Foundation’s Alison Vincent said she was shocked to hear of the Dunfermline court case and urged people to report hate before it escalates.
She said: “It’s absolutely shocking that we still have this sort of thing going on.
“You hope that we are moving on to a world of greater understanding (of differences) but that’s not the case.
“Sophie was attacked three times before the attack that killed her and she never reported it.
“We would say to anyone who sees this kind of hate to report it, don’t put up with it.
“People are putting up with the most horrific vitriol every day and live in fear of being attacked just because of how they look.
“I hope the girl (who was attacked in Fife) is well and safe.”
Coronation Street storyline mirrored attack
Sophie, 20, and her boyfriend Robert Maltby, who both dressed in a goth style, were attacked as they walked through Stubbylee Park.
As Sophie attempted to defend her unconscious boyfriend their attackers turned on her, taking turns to stamp on her head.
On arrival at hospital doctors placed her in a coma but she never regained consciousness and her life support was switched off 13 days later.
The following year, Ryan Herbert and Brendan Harris were sentenced to life imprisonment for Sophie’s murder.
Brothers Joseph and Danny Hulme (aged 17 and 16), and Daniel Mallett (17), also from Bacup, were convicted of grievous bodily harm and have since been released from prison.
Prosecutors told the court: “Sophie and Robert were singled out, not for anything they had said or done but because they looked and dressed differently.”
Robert Maltby was left in a coma for a week following the attack. He has since said that the “goth murder” narrative was an “oversimplification of a much broader social issue”.
The issue has been revisited in recent months by soap Coronation Street. An ongoing storyline saw Seb Franklin and Nina Lucas viciously attacked.
The case was also covered in the BBC docu-drama Murdered for Being Different, which was made to mark the 10th anniversary of the attack.