Murder victim's mum at university

The mother of murdered Lancashire girl Sophie Lancaster (pictured) has visited the University of Central Lancashire to raise awareness of hate crime.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 1:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th September 2017, 1:20 pm
Undated handout file photo of Sophie Lancaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 27, 2008. A 15-year-old boy, Brendan Harris, was found guilty at Preston Crown Court today of murdering 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, who was kicked to death in a park because she was dressed as a Goth. See PA story COURTS Park. Photo credit should read: Lancashire Police/PA Wire

Sophie’s mum Sylvia was at the Preston-based university along with Disability Equality North West, for a special screening of the film Black Roses, which was released in 2015 to share the story of Sophie’s life and the tragic events after she and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were attacked by a gang in 2007 for being Goths.

Sylvia said: “It’s really important that students take on the messages in the film, as these are the people who can make positive changes against hate crime in their future 
careers.

“The audience discussion following the film was very honest and positive, giving everyone a voice and a way to move forward with the next steps to ensuring we are safe in our communities.”

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The event was organised by UCLan’s Creative Communities Group and Disability Equality North West to mark the 10th anniversary of Sophie’s death.

CCG manager Nigel Farnworth said: “It was a privilege for the CCG to bring this event to UCLan. The film about 
Sophie’s life was very powerful and meeting her mother Sylvia was an honour.

“The fascinating question and answer session at the end left me and other members of the audience inspired to help spread the message that hate crime of any kind is 
unacceptable.

“The tragedy and the circumstances surrounding Sophie’s death is still very difficult to comprehend and the anniversary of her death gives us the opportunity to both remember Sophie and highlight hate crime that is still taking place in our society.

Des Butler from the Negatives project who organised the event added: “It was the first time I had met with Sylvia and found her to be very inspirational. Keep up the good work the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

“I was also happy to see a large amount of police officers in attendance as it shows that the police are taking the issue of hate crime very seriously.”