Memorial planned for murdered goth girl

A MEMORIAL is being planned in Whitby for a goth girl beaten to death in Lancashire because of the way she looked.

Money will be raised for a memorial bench during Goth Weekend later this month that will be placed near the Royal Hotel.

Sophie Lancaster (20) suffered horrific head injuries in a mob attack which also left her boyfriend, Robert Maltby (21) fighting for his life earlier this year.

Her parents turned off her life support machine after doctors said she would not recover.

Both Sophie and Robert were fans of the Goth culture and it is thought they were targeted for that reason.

Now, members of the Goth community are hoping to raise 1,600 to pay for a bench and plaque to be put in Whitby, near the famous whalebones, looking out to sea.

Martin Coles, aka DJ Martin Oldgoth, a regular at the goth weekend said the tragedy had touched people all around the world.

He said: "As 'alternative' people we're largely used to abuse, mostly verbal, for the way in which we look or dress, but this was just so brutal, so senseless.

"We just felt we had to do something, that we owed it to Sophie and her family, and the goth community at large to make sure she was never forgotten."

An information stall will be set up in the Pavilion over the weekend of 26 October where small black ribbon roses will be sold to be worn in her memory, and donations accepted to help pay for a memorial bench and plaque to be installed.

This bench will cost in the region of 1,600, but it is hoped more than that will be raised so any funds left over can be used in reforestation schemes in the UK to plant trees in Sophie's memory.

"In addition to the roses, Sexy Sunday will be raffling a one off custom made 'goth' bear that a toy maker is very kindly making for this purpose," added Martin.

"Sophie's death has touched people from around the world, all of us, I feel, see this as such a terrible thing to happen to someone. Since starting the online campaign to raise awareness of the collection I've been contacted by people from all over the world that have been shocked by this, and not just those from the gothic community, I've been talking to goths, bikers, metallers, people from the electro and indie scenes, just about any 'alternative' genre. All of them feel that her life should be remembered, and offering donations or help in spreading the word."

A minute's silence will also be held before the Whitby Gazette versus Goths football match on the Sunday.

The attack on Sophie, from Bacup, and Robert happened in a park in the town on 11 August, the couple, who had been together three years, had just moved into their first home together.

Five youths have since appeared in court in Lancashire charged over the attacks.