Sunday, 1 April 2012

Early Monstaville Appendix III (2008/9) Removed from Book

Appendix III

Articles, notes and other items: 2008 (and early 2009)

“A teenager who took part in a drink-fuelled gang attack on a defenceless disabled man for ‘sport’ was yesterday facing a life sentence after being convicted of murder. Victim Brent Martin was repeatedly punched, kicked, stamped on and head-butted by a man and two youths...William Hughes [aged 21] and two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, chased Mr Martin across two estates in Sunderland, subjecting him to a series of brutal assaults. Finally he was left dying in a pool of blood next to a parked car...Earlier the court heard how the attack began at a bus stop when the 17-year-old bet £5 that the 16-year-old - both had trained as boxers - could knock out Mr Martin with his right hand. The 16-year-old kissed his left fist before repeatedly knocking down Mr Martin with single punches. The disabled man was then chased across two estates for around a mile where on at least four occasions he was attacked. Then Mr Martin would get up, apologise to his attackers, shake their hands and would often buy alcohol and cigarettes for them. Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC said the gang deliberately chose grassed areas to attack him so he would not hit his head when they knocked him down. As Mr Martin was brutally beaten, eyewitnesses reported him shouting: ‘Nah nah, no please.’ After the murderous attack the three posed for pictures. Mr Hedworth said of the victim: ‘He was a gentle and easily-led child who thought everyone was his mate. People took advantage of him.’” (Sarah Hills, Metro, 23 January 2008, p.5).

Looking this story up online, the murder took place in August 2007. Brent Martin was a 23-year-old man with a learning disability. The following is from a blog on the internet:

“Mr Hedworth added, ‘They set out quite deliberately to do serious harm to Brent Martin for their own amusement and to make themselves look big in front of their friends, even inviting others to hit him. ‘As the attack went on its nature, its ferocity, and its perseverance made it quite clear they were not going to be happy till he was dead. Subsequently one or more may have regretted they went as far as they did but at the time they had no such sensibility – no restraint, no qualms and no mercy. The court was told all three youth were bragging and ‘seemed pleased with themselves’ immediately after the attack. This was a disability hate crime. I can only hope that sentencing will reflect the terrible nature of this crime, and the need to challenge discrimination against disabled people...What can we do about this? There are people who feel it is acceptable to harass or physically attack people for all sorts of reasons...I think this attitude excuses the people who commit the crimes from responsibility. It's the same approach that says women who are raped are sometimes at least partially responsible for dressing wrong/being in the wrong place/putting themselves in danger, when really it is always all the rapist's fault because it is always wrong to rape someone, no matter what they are wearing or have been drinking or whatever.” (, 15 January 2008).

“William Hughes, 22, Marcus Miller, 16, and Stephen Bonallie, 17, were sentenced to minimum prison terms of between 15 and 22 years after killing Brent Martin, 23, on Sunderland’s Town End Farm estate in August of last year...But now all three have successfully appealed against their minimum terms - the shortest period they must serve before they can apply for parole. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, Mr Justice Goldring, and Mr Justice Plender, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, overturned the original ruling and have reduced the term on all three men (, 4 July 2008).

“It is such a joke that our Government has not yet realised how to begin to tackle knife and gun crime. There is a reason why these crimes are now so frequent, and why so many are losing their lives: these thugs have nothing to fear. If you were to slap a minimum sentence of ten years on carrying a knife and 20 years on carrying a gun, then would so many people do it? I am fed up of living in a city where the offenders get off scot-free and those who try to defend themselves or their property are punished.” (A reader, The London Paper, 24 January 2008, p.20).

“‘I find the need of some receive praise and thanks simply for being civilised rather childish.” (‘Metro Mail,’ Metro, 27 March 2008, p.18).

Killed for being a Goth: “A chilling 999 call from a hysterical teenager, seeing a girl being kicked to death for being dressed as a Goth, was played to a jury yesterday. The sobbing 14-year-old girl begs for an ambulance as two of her friends are heard in the background trying to stop the horrific attack on Sophie Lancaster and boyfriend Robert Maltby, by a gang of youths in a park. The group had been talking to the couple when they turned into a ‘pack of wild animals’ kicking 21-year-old Mr Maltby and stamping on his head. They then attacked Miss Lancaster, 21, as she [knelt on the ground and] cradled his head in her lap, Preston Crown Court heard...An unknown male can be heard shouting, ‘Oy, get the f*** off him now!’ [which, I take to mean that he wanted to kill Rob but she was in the way so they turned on her instead].” The caller goes on to say that Penny was choking on her blood and that blood was coming out of their ‘eyes, nose and everything.’” (Ross McGuinness, Metro, 13 March 2008, p.9). “Miss Lancaster, 20, pleased with them to stop and tried to pull them away, said witnesses to the attack...Mr Maltby was seriously injured and cannot remember the attack.” (ibid, p.9). Rob, an art student who has been described as having an ‘unusual appearance coupled by a warm friendliness,’ says they ought to have left the park earlier to avoid any trouble. He also says he ‘wishes they’d left him there to die.’ He had been targeted by other violent youths four times previously so he was used to a small-town mentality.

From the BBC: “Two teenage boys have been jailed for life. Sophie Lancaster was kicked and stamped to death by Brendan Harris, 15, and Ryan Herbert, 16, in Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire, last summer...Judge Anthony Russell QC described the attack as ‘feral thuggery’ which raised serious questions about the ‘sort of society which exists in this country.’ He added: "This was a terrible case which has shocked and outraged all who have heard about it. ‘At least wild animals, when they hunt in packs, have a legitimate reason for so doing, to obtain food. You have none and your behaviour on that night degrades humanity itself.’

The judge described the Goth community as ‘perfectly peaceful law-abiding people who pose no threat to anybody.’ He said: "This was a hate crime against these completely harmless people targeted because their appearance was different to yours.’ Goths emerged as a youth subculture in the early 1980s. Although initially used to describe a form of music, it has evolved to encompass literature, art and fashion, with its exponents typically dressing in dark clothing. Earlier, the judge heard that Mr Maltby, who was not in court, now finds the world terrifying and still suffers long term physical and emotional damage. In a statement read to the court, Mr Maltby said: "I really just like to think I'm now only eight-months-old. ‘I'm finding the whole world a terrifying place.’

Brothers Joseph, 17, and Danny Hulme, 16, both of Landgate, Whitworth, near Bacup, and Daniel Mallett, 17, of Rockcliffe Drive, Bacup, all pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Maltby. Mallett was sentenced to four years and four months and the Hulme brothers for five years and 10 months each. After the hearing, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Lancashire Robert Marshall said: "Very occasionally, in spite of all the tragic and distressing cases that the CPS has to deal with, we come across a case that stands out as truly shocking. ‘The murder of Sophie Lancaster and the vicious attack on her boyfriend Robert Maltby stand out for their utter pointlessness and sheer brutality. Worse still, it seems very likely that the attack started as a form of amusement for those involved.’" ( Harris, who has been described as ‘ignorant, arrogant and cowardly’ had drunk two litres of cider, a bottle of Stella Artois lager and ‘quite a lot’ of peach schnapps - so I assume that they had each drunk a ludicrous quantity of alcohol. He says one of his mates suddenly shouted, 'Somebody hit him' and, being so drunk, he stepped forward and punched Rob. “I don't know why - I was drunk and showing off,” he adds. A 14-year-old girl claims that, after one of the gang said: ‘Shall we batter him?’ they all then started saying, ‘Let's beat him up.’ It appears that Maltby, who was still standing after the punch, was then kicked in the head by Harris (but it is not clear whether Harris claimed to have punched Maltby in order to blame someone else for kicking him or both punched and then kicked him as the gang’s adrenalin grew).

“After the verdicts, Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie's mother, said: ‘I am convinced Sophie was killed simply because of the way she looked. She did not necessarily conform to the ideals of those who took her life. If we are to make any sense of Sophie's death, perhaps we should see it as an opportunity to examine how all of us, particularly younger people, can become blinkered. I believe that today, more than ever, we need to show respect, compassion and tolerance for those whose appearance and culture differs from our own.’" (, 27 March 2008). Sylvia, 52, also said, outside the court: “I stand outside this house of justice today, not as Sophie's mother, but as her voice. Her voice that was cruelly silenced in a single mindless act. Sophie was a thoughtful, sensitive individual and she would not have wanted her death to have been in vain. 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.” She described her daughter as “intelligent, courageous and adorable.”

“Mr Maltby...said he had lost his ‘entire world’ that he wished the gang had killed him instead. He added: ‘Really what they were trying to do was humiliate us, and beside the obvious things that I am annoyed at, that is what I am annoyed about the most. It seems to display just arrogance.’ Asked what he missed most about his girlfriend, he said: ‘I can sum it up in the fact that I will wake up in the morning and I look to my side and I am on my own, and just then it is like, 'This isn't right.’‘ The young couple, who had been going out for six months, were walking home from a friend's house to their flat shortly before midnight when they began chatting with a group of teenagers. They drifted into the park where the good-natured conversation continued. They even handed out cigarettes to the group. However, the mood changed suddenly when the five teenage boys turned on Mr Maltby in the skate park area. Someone was heard to shout ‘let's bang him.’ Harris started the orgy of violence by aiming a flying kick at the 21-year-old art student. 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 screamed at them to stop as she cradled her boyfriend's head [she begged them to stop beating him]. But Herbert delivered a volley-style kick to her face. Harris then joined in, kicking and stamping on her head as she lay on the ground. Harris admitted starting the chain of events when he punched Mr Maltby. He told police he did not know why he did it and was just ‘drunk and showing off.’ But he claimed he then stood aside as up to four youths waded into Mr Maltby and then looked on as Miss Lancaster was assaulted. A series of teenaged witnesses contradicted his story, telling the court he was ‘in the thick of it’...Harris, dressed in a dark grey suit, black shirt and not wearing a tie, did not react in the dock as the unanimous verdict was read out...It has also emerged that Herbert, of Rossendale Crescent, Bacup, and Harris, of Spring Terrace, Bacup, have previous convictions after they chased a youth out of Stubbylee Park and assaulted him.” (ibid). [According to an article on the following day, Harris delivered a flying kick to Sophie’s head first].

A reader asks, “Why aren't the parents being held for contempt, contempt of court and contempt for normal, civilised behaviour which they failed to instill in their offspring?” (ibid).

From police statements: ‘To inflict such extreme injuries using brute force, with no weapons involved, on two innocent individuals was shocking. It is often possible to pinpoint something that sparks acts of violence but nothing happened to spark off the violence in ths case. The youths simply attacked two innocent people because they were different. They showed no remorse and the degree of rejoicing afterwards - walking away, whooping and celebrating - is shocking by anyone’s standards. They walked away laughing, boasting, offering a phone that had been taken from Robert Maltby in the course of the incident and there seemed to be no remorse even when the seriousness of what they had done must have been apparent to them.’

Other police statements: “They have just done it without thinking but they have seemed to have enjoyed it and carried on remorselessly kicking at two very defenceless people who were unable to protect themselves because of the level of violence inflicted upon them. 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." (, 27 March 2007). The thugs laughed while they inflicted the unprovoked, merciless attack and along with their parents laughed and joked in court as well as outside the court. Simply heinous. They should probably all have been flogged for that alone. Evicting the families of more than 20,000 unruly teens from their Council homes if they do not take responsibility for their children, as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith appears to be proposing (July 2008), is unlikely to improve the situation. How is being made homeless or living in B&B accommodation with similar types of people going to make them more responsible?

There is something evil in our society that seeks to destroy individuality, self-expression, unique potential, passion, beauty, truth. It is something perpetrated by aggressors and the timidity of convention through which so many people accept being half alive (and half dead). The British Government calls it ‘tolerance’ in order to justify overwhelming immigration figures. It is a post-feudal disease, in my opinion. The English are “very frightened of emotion,” says Diane Abbott MP. (This Week, BBC1, 18 May 2007). Being so inhibited, oppressed and judgmental makes the ground fertile for weeds to grow and inflict their hatred and cruelty on society. In addition, as Said Khan explained on the same programme, “there is too much pressure in our lives now.” We have to ‘take responsibility for our feelings,’ it was explained, exercise our ‘emotional intelligence.’ Know what your buttons are and control it: this ‘makes you powerful.’ I guess the British have exercised discipline in the past but, now this has fallen away we are left with a yob culture and general lack of patience and discipline and we simply do not have the ‘emotional intelligence’ to provide a foundation for positive thinking.

There is plenty to be upset about in our society, in or collective lives, but we keep it all inside and it must be poisoning us. So we are unable to express ourselves, or be free to really be ourselves. We say nothing and we do nothing. We deny or ignore that it is happening. Complaining at home is not enough. We English people have a habit of suppressing what we feel and it both allows violence to go unopposed by our will as the people of this country and nurtures negativity inside of us which keeps us ignorant of our higher potential as creative, spiritual beings. It is a pattern of behaviour that encourages the Government and aggressive people to walk all over us because there is no resistance. We are fortunate to have a strong and just legal system but we perhaps rely on it too much, as if the authorities have used it to appease us and convince us that they have everything under control (including us of course) so we trust them and do not take responsibility of society ourselves. 

We are a nation whose inhabitants need to stop following the materialist bandwagon and start fixing our individual purpose and intention. People settle for mediocrity through fear, ignorance and lethargy. Yes, it provides wonderful opportunities for those among us who are selfish, aggressive and greedy...or even those who remain dull, resigned and obedient to the end. The paradox of human society is that, although indulging our bestial and individualistic desires can turn us into wild beasts, when we deepen our identity, will and passion we find, ultimately, that exploring our highest potential is rewarding both for ourselves and society. I believe, with awareness increasing rapidly owing to the widespread circulation of ideas and information through books and the internet (rather than television and newspapers), that it is only a matter of time before humanity as a whole arrives at this conclusion. So, we English really need to let go of our fears. Individual identity does not have to sprout from national pride. It is nothing more than a choice.

"If a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man." - A Clockwork Orange (Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1971).

Once this seed has been sown, once people decide to be themselves, think for themselves and express their unique potential (and once the Government realises that this is the only route to collective unity and prosperity), then, and only then, will our society resemble a garden in which flowers of many varieties inspire younger generations to grow towards maturity, to be all that they can be, through being and example. Our responsibility to society and our ability to fortify it morally hinges on the spiritual growth that we owe ourselves and not some Church that is part of the problem rather than the solution, that was created to protect the rich and powerful and keep the people compliant.

Increased wealth and overcrowding have pushed or drawn people away from their original communities. This means that areas, such as docks, in which once lived only labouring classes who moved there to find physical work, no longer constrain those types of people, including the more aggressive and violent ones. They have moved into other areas, including traditionally middle class areas, spreading the disease of thuggish behaviour further afield. Of course, I do not understand the full story and this crude explanation is simply one of many observations that need to be aired. Moreover, of course we cannot discuss the matter and arrive at a deeper understanding either! Such discourse is taboo in our time. Yet, universal acknowledgement of such issues can open up a parasol of truth that might shelter us from continued pain caused by closing our eyes and choosing ignorance over insight.

“The reason violence on our streets is increasing is too many people are prepared to look away so they don’t end up striking a minor.” (A reader, ibid, p.20). [Violence is like a fire - once it is allowed to get out of hand it takes over and runs wild].

53-year-old anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan, from Leeds, has been murdered at her home by a youth. She died of multiple stab wounds. Her 20-year-old grandson, Rakeim Regan, has been charged with her murder. Her son Danny was in his mid-20s when he was shot dead in Merseyside in December 2002. After his death, she campaigned to stop gun crime and would give talks in schools about the dangers and consequences of getting involved in crime and carrying weapons. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, also paid tribute to Regan: “Pat was motivated by her deep love for her lost son and by a vibrant faith with love at its heart. Her loss is a tragedy to a community who have been robbed of a passionate voice against violence and to a wider society that is still not doing enough to embrace those values for which Pat campaigned. In her efforts to educate and transform the lives of young people at risk from violence Pat has left a legacy that will be lived out in the lives of the people of Leeds and beyond." (The Press Association, 1 June 2008 and other sources).

We live in a greedy culture and we are rude to each other. Parents and adults have a responsibility. Too often they are rude and aggressive. They should set a better example. (Sir Alan Steer, BBC News, 11 July 2008).

Further information from the BBC website: Sir Alan, head teacher of Seven Kings High School, Ilford, has been carrying out a government-commissioned review of bad behaviour in school since 2005. “Sir Alan told the Guardian: ‘It's connected to a violent sub-culture. But we bear some responsibility. Sometimes as adults we don't model the behaviour we would want youngsters to follow. We live in a greedy culture, we are rude to each other in the street. Children follow that.’ Last month, Schools Secretary Ed Balls warned that parents had to ‘play their part’ in promoting better behaviour...The survey found that about four in 10 teachers leave the profession after two years.” (

“Two teenagers were found guilty yesterday of murdering a 17-year-old student who they had beaten like a ‘punchbag.’ Sean Downes and Thomas Luddington, both 18, robbed Robert Gill before throwing him into the Great Ouse river in Bedford. A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was convicted of manslaughter, robbery and false imprisonment. Robert was on a night out with his brother when he was attacked two days after Christmas. Luddington and Downes, both of Bedford, were told to expect lengthy prison terms by Judge Bevan QC at Luton Crown Court.” (Metro, 17 July 2008, p.4).

“John Gizzi was jailed for give years for fraud and violent crimes and faces another eight years unless he can pay back £2.6million of the £7million he illegally pocketed. But the property crash has almost halved the value of his country estate and he is struggling to raise the money...The self-styled Mr Big, 36, thought he was untouchable as he built up a 21-property portfolio through mortgage fraud and selling illegal cigarettes. At his trial in January 2006, he was described as a thug who assaulted the homeless and preyed on the vulnerable. But police were bugging his Bentley - now sold - and heard him confess.” (ibid, p.11).

“Men should carry personal attack alarms and avoid talking on their mobile phones or using personal music players while walking in the street, according to new crime advice. The guidelines, previously issued to women, come after it was revealed that men were twice as likely to suffer violent attacks. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, set up to raise safety awareness after the disappearance of the 26-year-old London estate agent in 1986, also said men should stay calm and try to talk their way out of confrontations, while avoiding aggressive body language such as folded arms. Physical self-defence should only be used as a last resort and it was ‘not always the best idea’ to help someone being attacked. Keeping fit could also help, according to the organisation. It added that men should realise how they come across after drinking, and should ask their friends how they are behaving. The warning comes as the full extent of London’s knife crime epidemic is revealed in the new British Crime Survey. A staggering 7,428 knife crimes - a third of all the non-fatal offences in England and Wales - were committed in London in the past year, equivalent to more than 20 a day. The figure is more than three times that of Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, the areas with the next-biggest totals. The statistics, covering the 12 months to March this year, do not include fatal stabbings. But separate data shows that between 1 January and 15 July there were 88 killings in London. Mayor Boris Johnson...met singer Lily Allen to discuss knife crime, following her appeal for people to ‘stop stabbing each other in the UK...Boris, if you’re listening, call me, man.’ The pair spoke for 45 minutes at City Hall yesterday. Mr Johnson said afterwards he was ‘delighted’ Allen would use her fan base to spread the anti-knife message.” (London Lite, 17 July 2008, p.4).

“Women should be on the lookout for early signs of domestic abuse, campaigners warn today. The charity Refuge aims to help women to be more aware of the techniques violent men use to control and dominate them. Warning signs include the man cutting his partner off from family and friends in an effort to isolate her, insulting her in public, or constantly criticising her. The campaign is led by Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett...Her character, Jo Sugden, is currently a victim of domestic violence.” (Metro, 5 August 2008, p.4).

Thousands join 'Stop the knives, save lives' march on streets of London. “Thousands of people including victims of violent crimes and families of teenagers stabbed to death took to the streets of London today in a bid to stop young people carrying knives. The People's March peace march was the brainchild of two south London women sickened by the rising tide of deaths they saw on the news. After setting up a group on social networking site Facebook, Sharon Singh and Gemma Olway, both 26, joined forces with the families of young people murdered on the UK streets and the Damilola Taylor Trust...Gary Trowsdale, director of special projects at the Damilola Taylor Trust, said: "We think this could be the moment for change. We are looking to stem the tide because this is ordinary people coming together and saying this has to stop… Richard Taylor, whose son Damilola was stabbed in a stairwell at the age of 10, said: ‘We are sending a message to young people that they have not been forgotten and that we care but we are also not happy with them resolving minor disputes and fighting over issues and then using a knife.’ He said that the problems stem from ‘young people being neglected, a lack of parental care and the direct influence of drugs. We also have a postcode problem which is leading to the gang culture.’ Sally Knox, whose son Robert was stabbed to death in Sidcup, said: "This is just a massive chance for young people and families who are worried to step up and feel they are doing something. (Daily Mail, 20 September 2008,

‘Jail terms ‘insult’ to gang rape girl.’ “Three sex attackers filmed themselves gang-raping a 16-year-old girl before dousing her with caustic soda were given what campaigners called ‘insultingly low’ sentences yesterday. The rapists were locked away for up to nine years but are likely to serve just half their terms…One of them will be freed in just two-and-a-half years, it was claimed [and six of the men “were cleared or had charges against them dropped”]. Kathryn Stone, from disability rights charity VOICE UK, said: ‘These sentences don’t come close to reflecting the brutality and horror of this attack.’ The victim, who had a mental age of eight, was lured to a flat in Tottenham, north London, in January last year. During a two-hour ordeal, she was raped repeatedly by a gang of up to ten men...The group laughed while recording her suffering on their mobile phones. The girl was in a coma following the attack and has been left permanently disfigured. In a joint statement, four learning disability charities criticised what they called the ‘insultingly low’ sentences. Richard Curen, chief executive of Respond, said: ‘These sentences are another injury and I fear it will be even longer for her to recover.’” (Metro, 20 January 2009, p.1).

Knife Culture. ‘Knives replace guns as killers’ choice of weapon’. “Knives are now the preferred weapon of choice among violent criminals. Blades have replaced guns as the most common murder weapon in London after the number weapon in London after the number of fatal stabbings leapt by more than 2 per cent, figures suggest. There were 83 deadly knife attacks in the capital last year – including 22 on teenagers – compared with 74 in 2007, police statistics show…The Met figures showed that while fatal shootings in London fell from 30 in 2007 to 17 last year, knife crime rose. In the 13 to 19 age range, the number of fatal stabbings increased from 17 to 22. Among the victims were high-profile cases such as 16-year-old Ben Kinsella, attacked in Islington, and 18-year-old Freddy Moody, who was stabbed to death outside Stockwell Tube station…And overall there were seven fewer murders in London last year than in 2007 – the fifth consecutive fall. Knife crime has also fallen since November, when the Met launched Operation Blunt Two - an effort to flush out the weapons using airport-style metal detectors and security wands in busy streets and stations. ‘What we hope is that the success we have seen in guns will be replicated in knives,’ [Commander Simon] Foy said.” (ibid, p.11).

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