Apologies for missing a day... just had a completely rubbish day and had to go rant in my (handwritten) diary rather than blog anything. We all get those days, right?!
God, darklings, there is so much exciting stuff on other people's blogs at the moment - can't wait for my next blog round-up. ;-) However, there is one thing I can't resist linking to straight away - a mindblowing post over at Siouxsie Law, wherein a teenage girl's murder conviction is overturned because the court used evidence of her Goth dress and lifestyle to "impugn the girl's character by suggesting she held satanic beliefs." (P.S. Satanists? Generally not murderers either, just FYI.) Can't even find words to comment on this, so please go read it for yourselves.
|This girl likes to dress differently.|
This does not mean she is a murderer.
Or deserves to be a victim.
In June 2009, A group of approximately 20 Goths were having a barbeque in Rothwell Country Park in Leeds (England), listening to music and having fun to celebrate a teenager's birthday.
Three self-described chavs, namely Andrew Hall, then aged 22, Ryan Woodhead 18, and Quinn Colley, also 18 (who was already on bail for an attack at the same location, during which he fractured a youth's jaw), who had, according to the Yorkshire Post, previously "demonstrated 'vitriolic hatred' to the emos and moshers known for their dark clothing and make-up".
These three 'men' were near the park when the Goths arrived, and began to shout abuse at them. Hall drove his scooter towards them to threaten them, with the others riding pillion.
Then, the trio made a plan to assault and rob the Goth group. They returned to where the group had gathered, pretending to be peaceful and making false apologies for their earlier behaviour. The group were polite and welcoming, and soon the three chavs were sitting with them and sharing a drink. Hall even took several members of the group to buy cigarettes and alcohol on his scooter.
Once they had gained the Goths' trust, they then offered to take Paul Gibbs, the oldest of the group, to buy beer. But once they were out of sight of the Goth group, Hall stopped his scooter and his cohorts assaulted Mr Gibbs, savagely beating him until he lost consciousness. He fell into a coma, and only awakened a few days later in hospital. But before police found him that night, his ear was severed with a knife. All three chavs deny that they cut off his ear... Doctors were unable to attach it.
When Paul Gibbs did not return, several of his friends went looking for him. Hall offered one of them a lift. Again, he waited until he was out of sight of the group before brutally attacking him and searching his pockets before leaving the area. Meantime, Colley and Woodhead attacked two others. One youth was beaten into unconsciousness, waking up several days later. The second was kicked in the face. Colley and Woodhead also robbed two girls, before heading back to the Goths' campsite. Colley claimed he had been told by 'his boss' to kill the Goths.
Hall, who admitted conspiracy to rob and grievous bodily harm to Mr Gibbs, was given an indeterminate prison sentence and must serve a minimum of four-and-a-half years. Woodhead and Colley each admitted conspiracy to rob and grievous bodily harm with intent and were given indeterminate sentences to serve a minimum of two years, 210 days. Colley also admitted grievous bodily harm.
When I found the article on Google News with the headline 'Bully Boys Terrorise Goths In Park', I thought, oh, the usual shouted comments, maybe a punch or two thrown... but no. I quote, again, the Yorkshire Post: "A man was savagely beaten and had his ear cut off while three others were injured in a horrific night of violence when a gang of "bully boys" decided to rob Goths camping in a park."
His ear. Was. Cut. Off.
Excuse me while I rein in comments along the lines of, "And people accuse US of being mentally ill?!"
Also, chavs. Now, I have nothing against the chav subculture as a whole. A lot of my friends are chavs, and I also make it a point not to discriminate against any other subculture. It would be kind of hypocritical. But. Sophie's murderers. These 'bully boys'. The 'neds' who allegedly drove a fifteen-year-old to suicide in Scotland. All chavs. The people I get insulted by almost daily in the street? You guessed it. Now, as I said, I try very hard not to discriminate. But some of these people are making it VERY difficult to keep an open mind. Now, when I see a bunch of young guys with loud mouths, shaven heads and tracksuits, I start looking around for an escape route.
During this entire, premeditated, well-planned attack, the three chavs spent time with the Goths ('gaining their trust'), during which time I would have thought they would have learned that actually, Goths are normal, and as you can tell from this entire incident, non-violent, welcoming, polite and friendly. This knowledge, apparently, made no difference to the thugs's plans. Sickening.
For me, this has chilling echoes of the Sophie incident, particularly the attack on Paul Gibbs. Except, it gives me the heebie-jeebies in a big way, because the whole thing was planned. They calmly and deliberately discussed how they were going to beat up and rob a bunch of strangers because of their clothes. It sounds to me as though Mr Gibbs is lucky to be alive.
That is so completely fucking sick. People who can do things like this are an insult to civilised society. People who have the mentality where they think it's OK to assault and mutilate a complete stranger should be locked up and never see the light of day. It's evil. It's disgusting. I cannot even find words to describe how horrible, how repulsive I think this is.
And the fact that those 'men' had actually contemplated murde... words fail me. Judge James Spencer QC described them as a "bunch of bully boys" who would only be released when they were considered no longer a danger to the public. Can't imagine a time when someone like that is no longer dangerous... I hope they'll be behind bars until they're old enough to claim a pension.