Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster


Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster

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This programme contains some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.

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You know, I always used to call her my dark fairy,

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because that's what she symbolised to me.

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It were always my thing,

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that that would be our symbol, would be the black rose.

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That's what I saw her as.

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I don't think people realise just what effect it has on you,

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how it changes your whole life, actually.

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You know, I look at things now and it's "before" and "after."

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It was a horrible thing.

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Not only do they take your daughter,

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they take your life with them as well.

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I was slow to get born

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November's child

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Wanted nothing more than to laze

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In the sling of my mother's womb

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To loaf and lounge

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Where it was slow

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Where it was warm.

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So I sat tight

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In a curled ball

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Cocooned in love

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Gloved

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Adored

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Hazy colours and watery sounds

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Came drifting through

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At odds from the start

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I was sideways on

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Unengaged

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Lying in wait

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Till my mother's birthday came about

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Then I roused and turned

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And shouldered out

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Into the day

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Out of the dark.

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She was a good baby, really.

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Although very mischievous.

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She would, you know, climb out of her cot,

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she'd open the reins on her pram, climb out of her pram,

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but even at that age, she had quite a strong personality.

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I remember once watching her with Adam, her brother,

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who is 18 months older than her, and his friend,

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and they were trying to get a wooden telephone off her.

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They were a lot bigger than her, obviously,

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but she didn't give it to them, you know?

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She were proper tugging at it

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and, um, yeah, she were a good baby, really.

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November's child

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Is watchful

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Calm

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The twilight month

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Month of the short afternoons

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The low sun

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And the vampire moon

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Were those Gothic days

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Where I got it all from?

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I kept mum

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I bit my tongue

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Why use ten words instead of one

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When you can use none?

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Why speak at all

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When everyone else is babbling

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Gabbling, rabbiting on?

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Sophie did sit back and watch the world

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and she continued with that,

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you know, all through...all through her life, really,

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and you would watch her

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and she'd be watching people in a group and then...

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I used to think she was watching to see

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if she could be comfortable with people.

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That's how I always interpreted it.

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Whether it's about being comfortable,

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whether it's about being frightened of new experiences,

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um, I'm not sure.

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To be sometimes remote

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To be sometimes withdrawn

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Was it such a crime

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To be growing up at my own pace

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In my own way

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In my own sweet time?

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They were saying then I had

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What they called an enquiring mind

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Learning quickly to empathise

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Standing there by mother's side

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Hearing the language of human rights

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Hearing the rants

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Of her leftie friends

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Bolsheviks and Trotskyites.

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I left school at 15 and I'd no qualifications

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and working in, you know, local factories, really.

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And I woke up one day and I thought, "I can't stand it any longer."

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And after I'd done my A levels, I went to Manchester Uni,

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so she was always surrounded,

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at that early age,

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by feminist, leftie, shall we say, people.

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I applied for a volunteer post for the Youth Service,

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so I used to work in a local youth club

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and Sophie would come with me very often.

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So, she was always brought up with an understanding, I think,

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of the issues surrounding difference

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and the different types of people and experiences.

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So I ditched the comfort

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Of pillows and sheets

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And slept one night

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In a cardboard box

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In sympathy with the down-and-out

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And bedded down in a linen drawer

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Because sometimes you need

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A place to hide

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A hidey-hole

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Somewhere to crawl.

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Sophie, um, was a vegetarian from an early age.

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We used to go to Bury Market every Saturday and, um,

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I don't know whether you know Bury Market

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but there's actually a meat market,

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and our Sophie would make songs up

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and sing them at the top of her voice, every week,

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about how she hated this meat market and how it stank

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and how it was wrong that they did this to the animals.

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And she just didn't care.

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And, actually, when I think about it,

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you know she had a different diet

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from the rest of us in our house, actually.

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She would eat a lot of salad and...

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Well, as you can tell from my weight, I like chips and cake.

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Because that's one thing about our Soph,

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my God, was she strong-willed?

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You couldn't get her to do anything that she didn't want to do.

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VERY strong views, VERY strong personality.

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I didn't do sport

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I didn't do meat

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Don't ask me to wear that dress

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I shan't

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Why ask me to toe the line?

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I can't

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I was slight or small

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But nobody's fool

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No Barbie doll

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No girlie girl

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I was lean and sharp

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Not an ounce of fat

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On my thoughts or my limbs.

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And she'd got beautiful, beautiful waist-length hair.

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And she was always very proud of her hair.

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And, you know, she had such...

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She had really bad eyesight, bless,

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so she always had really thick glasses on

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and I think that had, um, an effect on her.

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And I always wanted, if I've got to be honest,

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a girlie girl, and our Sophie certainly were never that.

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I'm just trying to...

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to think about when Sophie started to become quite Gothy.

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She'd probably be about 11 or 12.

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She went to stay with her best mate, Suzanne,

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and they stayed friends right up until, um, Sophie died.

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And she'd been up to Suzanne's,

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and I remember her, vividly, walking in

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and she'd got a dog collar on.

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One on her wrist.

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I remember looking at her and smiling and thinking,

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"Oh, here we go."

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You know, I was really happy for that

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because she needed that channel for her individuality to come out

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and to show people who she was.

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In my difficult teens

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I WAS strange

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I WAS odd

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Aren't we all?

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There was something different

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Down at the core

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Boybands, Pop-Tarts left me cold

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Let's say that I marched

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To the beat of a different drum

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Sang another tune

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Wandered at will

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Through the market stalls

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Humming protest songs

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I wore studded dog leads on me wrists

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And was pleased as punch

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In the pit at the gig

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To be singled out

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By a shooting star of saliva

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From Marilyn Manson's lips.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE ECHOES

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But for all that stuff

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In many ways

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An old-fashioned soul

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Quite at home in my own front room

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On my own settee

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I read, I wrote

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I painted, I drew

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Where it came from no-one knew

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But it flowed

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It flew.

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She was like an old soul.

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And, you know, you talk to people

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after...after she'd died,

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and all the rest of it,

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and people would talk to me about her kindness.

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She was always very kind, very caring towards people.

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But the wisdom about issues...

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She was always into green issues, she was quite political.

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Her vegetarianism.

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Sophie did have a lot of empathy for other people.

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I was always, I've got to be honest,

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when Sophie was...

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Well, when we were getting ready for her to go to secondary school,

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I was always really concerned for her,

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because of Sophie's eccentricities, shall we say?

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And, you know, I remember writing this letter saying,

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you know, "She walks to her own beat

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"and we want that to be looked after

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"and brought out of her and nurtured..."

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That's the word - we wanted her to be nurtured.

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She settled in.

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She was fine, to be honest,

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because the one thing about our Sophie,

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which was always a bit odd,

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she actually liked the structure of things

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and she liked being at school because she liked the learning.

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She found, thankfully,

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the more alternative young people within the school

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and that seemed to settle her

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and she was quite happy then to be who she was.

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And it was nice to see her belonging to a group,

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rather than being that outsider.

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I met a boy

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Robert

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Rob

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He was one of me

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I was one of him

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We were one and the same

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I went towards him

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And kissed his face

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He was skin and bone

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He was six foot tall

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He was ghostly pale

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He was poetry, art

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He was quirky, cool

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He was backcombed and pierced

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He WAS perfectly weird

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We walked through Manchester

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Hand in hand

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We were both in league

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With the colour black

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Not knowing exactly who we were

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But both agreed on what we were not

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We were joined at the hip

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We were all black T-shirts

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And snow-white flesh

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We were silhouette

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I slashed my jeans

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And unpicked my seams

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And smeared my lips

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And ripped my fishnets

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In honour of him

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Sat at the mirror for hours on end

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With banshee make-up

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And hurricane hair

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Till I looked like

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I'd fallen out of a tree

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Till I looked like

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I'd clambered out of the grave

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It was love

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It was life.

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I remember my first sight of Rob.

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He had black hair, obviously,

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and backcombed, so it were really wild,

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and he had a brown mac on and some yellow plastic shoes

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and, you know, his facial piercings,

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and our Sophie was quite distinctive, too, in her dress.

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She obviously wore a lot of black,

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but she would very often sort of cut her clothes up

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so they were always quite raggedy, really, and, you know,

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I would never say anything to her,

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ever, about her appearance because...

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Well, actually, I was always quite proud of her

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and I thought she looked lovely.

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She was quite distinctive.

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You would notice her if you saw her in the street.

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But it was more than that with her,

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it was more than the clothes,

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it was more than the music.

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I think what happened was, as she was growing up, you know,

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she was a vegetarian,

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she was a pacifist.

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A child who was quite internal.

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The clothes aspect of it and the make-up and the hair

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just showed what she was as a person.

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What people don't understand is that that is actually the truth.

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It's not just, oh, somebody chooses to dress differently,

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and for somebody like Sophie,

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and for a lot of people, actually,

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it's not even a life choice, really.

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It just reflects who they are.

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It was one small step

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Across the street

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But one giant leap into bedsit land

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And very grown up to be moving in

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To be given the keys

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To lift the latch

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To be playing house

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To be lady and lord

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Of our very own place

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In our very own space

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We WERE dreamers

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Asleep

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We were jobless, skint

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Always juggling and having to stint

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Not a penny to our name

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Always struggling to make ends meet

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To eke things out

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Till the end of the week

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To the passer-by

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It was hardly the Ritz

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Nowhere to shout or show off about

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Just some old, cold first-floor flat

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Below the moor

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Above a shop

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But to us

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It was home

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Palace and penthouse

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Fortress and funhouse

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Studio, library all rolled into one.

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We could bolt the door And keep the world out or

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Watch the world as it wandered past In all its glory, beautifully mad

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All the nightshift workers And daylight shirkers

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The mods and rockers And emos and moshers

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And joggers and bikers And slackers and slickers

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All the swimmers and sinkers And grafters and thinkers.

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The fly-posters and bill-stickers The goths and the straights

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And the groovers and ravers.

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The movers and shakers

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The butchers and bakers And candlestick makers.

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All the pissheads and potheads And veggies and vegans

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And coppers and preachers And posties and traders.

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The night-hawks and The dawn-treaders

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The speed-freaks And the metal-merchants

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All the scrimpers and savers The beggars and trailblazers.

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All the chancers and mystics And givers and takers

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And skinheads and suedeheads And non-believers.

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All the tattooed crusties All the crested Mohicans

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All the folkies and rappers And ragamuffins and Rastas

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And clubbers and dubbers And mixers and suited commuters

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And duckers and divers

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And salesmen and truckers And lollipop ladies

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And beatniks and peaceniks And streetkids and skaters

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And hitchers and drivers And runners and riders.

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All the rat-racers All the money servants

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All the dancers and DJs.

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All the trippies and heavies And slackers and hippies

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And hawkers and vendors And takers and lenders

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And the dog-walkers And the dawdlers

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All the late starters And early risers

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All the human race In its crazy parade

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I said: "let them all be."

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I said: "live and let live."

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I said: "breathe and let breathe."

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SHE INHALES DEEPLY

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Sophie and Rob, you know, they were really an old-fashioned couple.

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They were proper old-fashioned.

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They liked to do things as they saw as being proper.

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And I know from when they were at my house,

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Rob would sit on the couch and our Soph would sit with her legs over him,

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and that's what they did.

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And they did go out for a drink, they'd go to their mates' houses,

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but they were never big party animals.

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They liked being together.

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And he would paint and our Soph would sit there and read.

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You know, Sophie had...

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Had issues when she were about 14, 15.

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She didn't feel that she belonged and you could see that.

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And she struggled at times.

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You know, probably the 12 months before she died

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she'd just about hit where she should be, who she was.

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She was just coming through all that.

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Once she met Rob she saw that...

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..what she was and who she was

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was actually really quite meaningful.

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Summer

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August

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The people's month

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Easy, effortless, endless days

0:18:280:18:32

Think of a park in its perfect form

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The Victorian dream

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The tick and tock of a tennis ball

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Friday-night lovers Out for a stroll

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Had we only known

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That this was a place Where shadows waited

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Where wolves ran wild

0:18:550:18:56

Where alcohol poisoned The watering hole.

0:18:560:19:00

They called in at the local garage because they'd no cigarettes.

0:19:010:19:06

And whilst they were at the garage they met up with somebody

0:19:060:19:09

who had met them previously in a pub.

0:19:090:19:13

And whilst they were stood talking

0:19:130:19:16

to these two young men, boys, whatever...

0:19:160:19:19

They were asking Sophie about her retainer in her ear,

0:19:190:19:24

and these two young boys said to

0:19:240:19:26

Sophie and Rob, you know, they were having a laugh,

0:19:260:19:29

and one of these young boys said, "Come and meet my friends."

0:19:290:19:33

So... Although I have to say, one of these boys didn't want to be

0:19:330:19:38

seen with Sophie and Rob because of their appearance, you know.

0:19:380:19:41

They were moshers and, "I don't want anything to do with you."

0:19:410:19:44

So, Sophie and Rob went to meet this group of young people,

0:19:450:19:50

and they were fascinated with their appearance.

0:19:500:19:54

You know, Sophie had on that night a massive big pair of shoes.

0:19:540:19:59

And bearing in mind she were only 5'1", 5'2".

0:19:590:20:03

And she did have her dreadlocks, retainers and she did have...

0:20:030:20:08

Funnily enough, I found them the other day...

0:20:100:20:13

15 piercings.

0:20:130:20:14

But she wasn't dressed outlandishly.

0:20:150:20:17

Whatever possessed us

0:20:220:20:23

Led us on

0:20:250:20:27

Figures materialised Out of the black

0:20:290:20:33

Till a group was a gang Was a mob was a pack

0:20:330:20:37

Late

0:20:400:20:42

Dark

0:20:420:20:44

The hours were small The minutes lost

0:20:440:20:47

It was there and then But it's here and now

0:20:480:20:50

Real, actual Won't go away

0:20:500:20:55

Keeps happening over and over again

0:20:550:20:59

In no time at all

0:20:590:21:00

An alarm bell chimes The barometer swings

0:21:020:21:06

The mercury climbs The hour-glass flips

0:21:060:21:09

The galaxy tilts

0:21:090:21:11

The needle swerves violently Into the red

0:21:110:21:14

In an atmosphere of menace and threat

0:21:140:21:17

In an aftershave of dope and booze

0:21:170:21:19

And testosterone and pent-up hate

0:21:190:21:22

Have we said the wrong word?

0:21:240:21:25

Have we made the wrong turn?

0:21:280:21:30

Have we strayed from our path?

0:21:330:21:35

Have we stepped on their patch?

0:21:360:21:38

Do they find offence At the studs in my lips

0:21:400:21:43

Or the rings in my ear?

0:21:430:21:44

Are they morally outraged By what we wear?

0:21:440:21:47

We are kindly creatures Peaceful souls

0:21:490:21:54

But something of our lives Aggravates theirs

0:21:550:21:58

Something in their lives Despises ours

0:21:580:22:01

The difference between us Is what they can't stand

0:22:030:22:06

And so the blows rain in

0:22:080:22:10

With that level of fury That needs to hurt

0:22:120:22:16

That depth of anger

0:22:160:22:17

That goes for the face That desires to maim

0:22:170:22:20

And when they've finished Knocking the stuffing out of my man

0:22:220:22:27

Kicking his skull For all they're worth

0:22:270:22:30

And I nurse his broken head On my knee

0:22:300:22:34

One turns on me

0:22:340:22:36

Oh, God

0:22:360:22:38

He comes back and he turns on me

0:22:380:22:41

A plague of fists or a swarm of feet

0:22:430:22:46

The boot coming in again and again.

0:22:460:22:49

How he hates my demeanour Hates my braids

0:22:510:22:56

How he hates my manner Hates my ways

0:22:560:23:00

Doesn't know me from Adam Not even my name

0:23:020:23:04

But detests every atom Of what I am

0:23:040:23:06

Nothing I scream for Will make it end

0:23:100:23:12

He will kick

0:23:130:23:15

And will kick

0:23:150:23:17

And will kick

0:23:170:23:20

And will kick

0:23:200:23:21

Till the living daylight Flies away.

0:23:230:23:25

And from what I can gather, five boys walked into the park.

0:23:310:23:37

Were only there a couple of minutes, and said, "Let's bang the moshers."

0:23:370:23:42

Five of them attacked Rob.

0:23:420:23:44

Got him on the floor and were kicking his head.

0:23:440:23:47

This is were it gets a bit murky, I've got to be honest,

0:23:490:23:53

because where is Sophie?

0:23:530:23:56

Nobody seems to see where she is. What's gone on there?

0:23:560:24:01

-We know because of...

-SHE SIGHS

0:24:020:24:05

I don't know.

0:24:050:24:06

Conversations with the police, with the five attackers,

0:24:060:24:09

this is what he said,

0:24:090:24:11

that Sophie were on her hands and knees, cradling Rob's head,

0:24:110:24:17

shouting at them,

0:24:170:24:19

and then Ryan Herbert is supposedly have said,

0:24:190:24:23

"Oh, God, she's a witness. I'll go back and do her."

0:24:230:24:27

I don't believe that.

0:24:270:24:29

I don't believe that in a million years.

0:24:290:24:31

How come - and I'll say this to my dying day -

0:24:310:24:33

how come five of them's attacked Rob?

0:24:330:24:37

You're telling me that one of them's attacked her?

0:24:370:24:40

He didn't do that on his own, that's ridiculous.

0:24:400:24:42

There were young people in the park that night that tried to help them.

0:24:450:24:49

They did give them first aid. They did call the ambulance service.

0:24:490:24:53

But bear in mind we've got three ambulance calls

0:24:530:24:57

and those calls took 17 minutes.

0:24:570:25:00

And you can hear - you can hear in the background of that 999 phone call,

0:25:000:25:04

you can hear the attack taking place.

0:25:040:25:06

You can also hear Rob coming round.

0:25:060:25:08

That attack did not take over 17 minutes on Rob.

0:25:100:25:14

Where were Sophie?

0:25:150:25:16

She's... She's lost somewhere along the line.

0:25:170:25:21

Which is the truth, and which isn't...

0:25:230:25:25

I don't know, I don't think we'll ever know, either.

0:25:250:25:28

On my hands and knees I crawl

0:25:310:25:35

Some way, then fall, then curl

0:25:350:25:38

This is pain beyond pain

0:25:400:25:43

I am seeing stars

0:25:460:25:48

I watch planets wheel

0:25:500:25:52

I watch heavens whirl

0:25:530:25:55

I hear sirens wail

0:25:570:25:59

And of all the people to have been attacked, for God's sake,

0:26:040:26:07

there's this little, gentle, kind girl, and Rob, God love him.

0:26:070:26:12

Our Adam turned up, and then the police turned up as well.

0:26:140:26:19

And they were telling me about where they'd been that night, and I couldn't,

0:26:190:26:22

and I can't to this day, get my head round

0:26:220:26:25

what on earth made them go in that park that night.

0:26:250:26:29

Questioning me about Sophie and their lifestyle.

0:26:290:26:32

Did they do drugs? What?! No, they did not. You know.

0:26:320:26:35

And I can understand what they were doing.

0:26:350:26:38

They've got to build a picture up of these two young people.

0:26:380:26:41

And then he says to me, "You know, she's at Fairfield."

0:26:410:26:47

Rob was at North Manchester, Sophie was in Fairfield.

0:26:470:26:50

"You can go and see her now.

0:26:510:26:53

"Her dad's with her. But I have to say to you that

0:26:530:26:57

"when the ambulance men picked them up, they couldn't tell

0:26:570:27:02

"which was the male and which was the female, because she's swollen."

0:27:020:27:05

I am dead but alive

0:27:090:27:13

Alive but dead

0:27:130:27:15

Ghosting somewhere in between

0:27:150:27:19

Cushioned and wrapped in Hospital pillows and hospital sheets

0:27:190:27:23

Blanketed under fluorescent light

0:27:230:27:26

A Medusa of drips and tubes and leads

0:27:260:27:29

And clotted braids And tangled beads

0:27:290:27:33

And jigsaw shapes of naked scalp

0:27:330:27:35

Where clumps of my hair Were kicked clean out

0:27:350:27:38

The police can't believe this necklace is mine -

0:27:400:27:42

Too ladylike, too feminine

0:27:420:27:47

And Mum can't see

0:27:490:27:51

That somewhere inside

0:27:510:27:54

This swollen, bloodshot

0:27:540:27:59

Abstract mess

0:27:590:28:02

Is my heart-shaped face And swan-like neck

0:28:020:28:07

Black roses that bloom On my arms and legs

0:28:070:28:10

Are the bitter bruises Of self-defence

0:28:100:28:12

I am traumatised

0:28:140:28:16

I am compromised

0:28:190:28:21

I am deeply distressed

0:28:230:28:25

I am sorely defaced.

0:28:290:28:31

We walked in, and you see this...girl,

0:28:360:28:43

who's got the tiniest of faces. Absolutely stunning face.

0:28:430:28:46

It was like a football.

0:28:480:28:50

It was absolutely massive, her whole head.

0:28:500:28:52

Her face, her head, everything.

0:28:520:28:54

And her dad was sat there holding her hand and, um...

0:28:560:29:00

I don't know who... I don't know who cried the most.

0:29:000:29:02

She'd two black eyes, and she'd marks

0:29:040:29:07

on her face that were trainer marks.

0:29:070:29:10

You could see them as clear as day.

0:29:100:29:13

Even the diamond shapes on both sides of her face.

0:29:130:29:17

She'd even got a little tiny star.

0:29:170:29:22

And that were from the laces on the trainers.

0:29:220:29:24

Now, you're telling me - how much force must they have used to do that?

0:29:240:29:28

Her ears... Her ears were big, black and puffy

0:29:280:29:33

and there were yellow marks...

0:29:330:29:35

Her neck.

0:29:350:29:38

God. Her neck.

0:29:380:29:40

You know, she had a lovely, long, very elegant neck, like a swan,

0:29:410:29:44

and I used to say that to her.

0:29:440:29:46

And her neck, God love her, it were black on both sides.

0:29:460:29:49

It were horrible, horrible, horrible.

0:29:490:29:51

At the back where'd they'd kicked her,

0:29:510:29:53

they'd yanked part of the skin off her head, and it looked like

0:29:530:29:56

they'd pulled her hair out,

0:29:560:29:57

and bearing in mind she had dreadlocks, you know...

0:29:570:30:00

She'd defence marks, on both her arms

0:30:000:30:03

where she'd obviously curled up in a ball.

0:30:030:30:05

She'd marks on her legs where, when they'd kicked her,

0:30:050:30:08

she'd moved across the floor.

0:30:080:30:09

But all the marks,

0:30:090:30:10

everything they did to her, were on her face.

0:30:100:30:12

That was, sort of, the Saturday.

0:30:140:30:17

Fully expected her to live.

0:30:170:30:20

Fully expected her to come round - probably, you know, within 24 hours.

0:30:200:30:24

That's what the nurses said - "This is what usually happens."

0:30:240:30:27

So me and Adam and Sophie's dad, John, went home that night

0:30:270:30:33

and er...got up early Sunday morning,

0:30:330:30:35

rang the hospital obviously,

0:30:350:30:37

and said "Right, I'm on my way. Do I need to bring anything?"

0:30:370:30:39

And she said, "Oh, yes, bring her some pyjamas

0:30:390:30:42

"and bring her some toiletries for when she comes round.

0:30:420:30:44

"We're going to take her off the machines later."

0:30:440:30:46

So I called in and I got her some new jimmys

0:30:460:30:49

and I got her a lovely new toiletry bag...

0:30:490:30:52

SHE SOBS

0:30:520:30:54

And I got her stuff.

0:31:020:31:05

And I thought, "She'll love that."

0:31:060:31:08

I took it to the hospital. There was only me there.

0:31:100:31:12

And I'm sorry, Mum

0:31:200:31:21

For making such a fuss

0:31:240:31:25

To be centre-stage

0:31:280:31:29

Sorry to twitch

0:31:320:31:34

Sorry to mumble and make no sense

0:31:360:31:38

Sorry to sweat

0:31:400:31:41

Sorry to vomit and arch my back

0:31:440:31:46

Sorry you have to see me like this

0:31:470:31:50

Purple and blue

0:31:520:31:53

Branded and stamped all around my head

0:31:540:31:57

With the logo and tread of a training shoe

0:31:570:32:00

I can't find my form

0:32:050:32:07

I can't breathe on my own

0:32:100:32:12

I can't move my mouth to say how I feel

0:32:140:32:17

I can't help my feet when they clench into claws

0:32:200:32:23

I can't help my legs and arms when they thrash

0:32:250:32:28

Can't help my eyes when they roll and track

0:32:280:32:31

Can anyone say if I'm coming back?

0:32:380:32:40

They, um...decided to try and take her off the machines

0:32:510:32:56

because she'd been in a coma for 24 hours

0:32:560:32:59

and...she was sick.

0:32:590:33:02

Vomited all over the place.

0:33:020:33:04

But it wasn't that that was interesting, it was her movements with her hands.

0:33:040:33:08

I knew, I thought, you know... "There's...something wrong."

0:33:080:33:14

Heart monitor going up and down, up and down.

0:33:140:33:16

And...she'd be sweating and they'd sponge her down,

0:33:160:33:20

and then they'd have to wrap her up

0:33:200:33:22

because she'd be ice-cold in this foil - it were just...

0:33:220:33:25

Her legs were going, she was having epileptic fits,

0:33:250:33:29

constant fits.

0:33:290:33:31

And the noise - oh...

0:33:310:33:33

The noise she were making were like...a cow, lowing,

0:33:330:33:38

I can't describe.

0:33:380:33:40

It were...loud, really loud,

0:33:400:33:42

like...oh, it were horrible.

0:33:420:33:45

And she were mumbling, actually, mumbling to herself,

0:33:450:33:48

"No, no...no...no."

0:33:480:33:51

Well, the nurses, you could see there were a bit of panic here,

0:33:520:33:55

"Oh, my God, put her back on."

0:33:550:33:57

So they put her back to the machines

0:33:570:33:59

and I'm sort of stood there,

0:33:590:34:01

thinking, "Oh, my God, what is going on?"

0:34:010:34:03

And they're saying to me, "Oh, no, she'll be fine,

0:34:030:34:07

"it's just not what we expected.

0:34:070:34:08

"She probably just needs another 24 hours.

0:34:080:34:11

"We'll try her again tomorrow."

0:34:110:34:14

But by this stage, I didn't want to be here.

0:34:140:34:17

I'm proper scared...scared by then,

0:34:170:34:21

I thought, "I don't want to be here."

0:34:210:34:24

So I left Sophie, and John stayed with her,

0:34:240:34:28

and I went up to North Manchester to go and see Rob.

0:34:280:34:31

So that's how it stood, then - we'd two of them in hospital,

0:34:320:34:36

both of them still on the machines.

0:34:360:34:38

So I went home that night

0:34:390:34:41

and, um...I think I lasted about a couple of hours,

0:34:410:34:44

I think, while I were at home - I thought, "I can't...

0:34:440:34:47

"I got to do something." You know - pacing about.

0:34:470:34:50

I thought, "I can't sit down, I can't watch TV.

0:34:500:34:52

"I can't do anything."

0:34:520:34:54

How distant I am

0:35:060:35:07

How far away

0:35:090:35:10

Am I not myself?

0:35:120:35:14

Am I still of this world?

0:35:160:35:17

I am critical

0:35:210:35:23

Grave

0:35:230:35:26

Beginning to fade

0:35:260:35:28

Weakening

0:35:280:35:31

Faint

0:35:310:35:33

Losing hold

0:35:330:35:35

Slipping below.

0:35:350:35:36

And then, funnily enough...yeah, I woke up, and I thought,

0:35:550:35:58

"I'm going to ring the hospital."

0:35:580:36:00

It'd be about four o'clock, I think.

0:36:000:36:02

And I rang, and as I rang, the doctor answered

0:36:020:36:07

and he said, "Oh, Mrs Lancaster, I were just going to ring you.

0:36:070:36:10

"I think you'd better come down.

0:36:100:36:12

"She's, uh...taken a turn for the worse, she's gravely ill."

0:36:120:36:16

So we all set off, and...

0:36:180:36:20

It was horrible, horrible -

0:36:210:36:23

there was blood all over the floor, she'd had a massive heart attack.

0:36:230:36:27

But they did say, "As soon she starts to rally a little bit,

0:36:280:36:31

"we're going to take her down and get her brain scan done

0:36:310:36:34

"because, you know, there's summat...not right."

0:36:340:36:37

So they took her down, and I came back on to the ward

0:36:390:36:42

as they were bringing her back up.

0:36:420:36:44

And the nurse, she were in floods of tears

0:36:450:36:49

and I knew then, you know, I thought, "Oh, God."

0:36:490:36:52

I knew then, you know, "That's it."

0:36:520:36:54

And what they said was that they'd done a brain scan

0:36:560:36:58

and...basically she'd no brain left.

0:36:580:37:01

It were just...dead.

0:37:010:37:03

They would turn the machines off on the Friday

0:37:050:37:07

and they would do the brain stem test.

0:37:070:37:11

Do I even know that my man survived

0:37:190:37:21

Whose handsome head I cradled and kissed

0:37:240:37:28

While they beat him with names and stoned him with kicks

0:37:280:37:32

Whose innocent face I tried to shield

0:37:330:37:37

Whose life I wrapped and held with my own?

0:37:370:37:40

Well, Rob, they tried to take him off again on the Monday.

0:37:500:37:54

And he came off and he was awake.

0:37:540:37:58

And he says he remembers, you know, um...seeing his mum and dad there.

0:37:580:38:02

Robert

0:38:070:38:09

Rob

0:38:090:38:10

Don't think me cold or impolite

0:38:120:38:16

If I don't respond when you say goodbye

0:38:160:38:18

If I lie here unmoved when they wheel you in

0:38:200:38:24

In stitches and pins for a final time

0:38:240:38:26

Body broken, spirit dimmed

0:38:280:38:30

Mother

0:38:350:38:38

Mum

0:38:380:38:39

Don't think me rude

0:38:420:38:43

If my eyes don't light up at my favourite things

0:38:430:38:46

At these new pyjamas

0:38:470:38:49

This toiletry bag

0:38:490:38:51

But I'm losing ground

0:38:530:38:54

Slipping back

0:38:560:38:57

When you loosen my clothes

0:38:590:39:01

Please don't be fooled by the hidden tattoos

0:39:010:39:04

And the studs and rings in intimate folds

0:39:040:39:07

And the woman's body I've secretly grown

0:39:070:39:10

Because under this skin

0:39:110:39:14

I'm your helpless daughter all over again

0:39:140:39:18

Your little dot

0:39:180:39:20

Your baby girl

0:39:210:39:23

As you did then, do again now

0:39:250:39:28

Mop my brow as you mopped my brow

0:39:290:39:33

Climb in my bed as you climbed in my bed

0:39:330:39:38

Lay at my side as you laid at my side

0:39:380:39:40

As you kissed my ear

0:39:420:39:44

As you wiped my mouth

0:39:440:39:48

As you soothed me to sleep

0:39:480:39:51

As you washed me down

0:39:510:39:54

As you bathed my breast

0:39:540:39:57

As you put me to rest

0:39:570:39:59

Night follows day

0:40:080:40:09

Day becomes night

0:40:110:40:13

I am sunken

0:40:150:40:18

Deep

0:40:180:40:20

Elsewhere

0:40:200:40:23

Vacant

0:40:230:40:25

Out of reach

0:40:250:40:26

They have scanned and searched for vital signs

0:40:290:40:32

But I'm hardly a pulse

0:40:340:40:36

Barely a breath

0:40:370:40:40

A thread

0:40:410:40:43

A trace

0:40:430:40:45

A past

0:40:450:40:47

A waste.

0:40:470:40:49

And, um...

0:40:550:40:56

Then on the Friday morning, they, um...took her off.

0:40:560:41:00

Was going to do the brain...stem things.

0:41:000:41:03

And then they take you into a room,

0:41:050:41:07

and they say, "I'm really sorry, Mrs Lancaster,

0:41:070:41:10

"but there's...nothing there.

0:41:100:41:11

"We're going to turn the machines off."

0:41:110:41:14

And they then screen, obviously, you know, the bed off

0:41:160:41:19

and take the machines off.

0:41:190:41:22

And, um...we stayed with her, obviously.

0:41:220:41:24

And, uh...it took her about 20 minutes to die.

0:41:240:41:27

And I lay down with her.

0:41:290:41:31

And I held her in my arms until she died.

0:41:330:41:35

It's a horrible, horrible thing.

0:41:390:41:41

She's just so little, this tiny thing.

0:41:450:41:47

Well, by then, I'd had enough.

0:41:510:41:53

I just wanted to come home, leave her, and just come home.

0:41:550:41:57

And, er...

0:41:570:41:59

Our Adam, bless him, came back and sat with her.

0:41:590:42:02

But I couldn't.

0:42:020:42:03

I just wanted to go home.

0:42:050:42:06

The line on the screen goes long and flat

0:42:120:42:15

Pull the curtains round

0:42:200:42:22

Call the angels down

0:42:240:42:26

Now let me go

0:42:280:42:30

Now carry me home

0:42:320:42:34

Now make this known.

0:42:380:42:41

Sophie Lancaster was kicked to death in a Lancashire park in 2007 because of her appearance. Sylvia Lancaster remembers her daughter and the tragic events after the attack as Sophie tells her own story through a sequence of poems written by poet Simon Armitage.


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