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Sophie Lancaster


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Kill Total: 1 Kill place: Bacup, Lancashire
Kill date: August 2007 Victim(s): Sophie Lancaster

Date of Birth:



Marital Status:






Sophie Lancaster aged 20, and her boyfriend Robert Maltby aged 21, were in Stubby Lee Park in Bacup, Lancashire, when they were attacked .between 01:10 hours and 01:20 hours on Saturday, 11 August 2007, at the skate park area of Stubby Lee Park, Bacup, Lancashire.


The youths set about Mr Maltby, kicking him to the ground, when Sophie pleaded with them to stop they set about her, kicking her, and stamping on her head,.

The gang, who had been drinking heavily , had turned on the young couple simply because they were Goths. One witness a 15-year-old boy, told police: "They were running over and just kicking her in the head and jumping up and down on her head."

Sophie, who was  a gap year student, died from serious head injuries two weeks after the attack while 21 year-old Mr Maltby survived the incident.

Harris admitted punching Mr Maltby once in the face, but claimed he played no further part in the attack.

Both Harris and Herbert pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Maltby, along with three others, two aged 17 and one 16.


11th August 2007. Ryan Herbert admitted the killing of Sophie.  Harris pleaded not guilty along with three others, they went to trial at Preston crown court in March 2008.


27th March 2008 Brendan Harris was found guilty of Sophie's murder.

Murder charges against three other youths - two aged 17 and one aged 16 - were withdrawn by the CPS.

Speaking after the verdict  Det Supt Gradwell said it was one of the most violent murders he had come across in his lengthy career. He added: "It was a totally unnecessary and appalling set of circumstances.


April 2008, Harris was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 18 years before he can apply for parole.
Herbert, who pleaded guilty to murder, was also sentenced to life with a minimum of 16 years and three months.


Tuesday 7th October 2008, Herbert and Harris lodged an appeal in the high court against their sentence.


Tuesday 28th October 2008, Ryan Herbert was sentenced to life, serving at least 16 years and three months the Appeal Court cut the tariff by nine months. Brendan Harris failed to have his 18 year minimum sentence cut.