Police pay tribute to Sylvia Lancaster after mother of murdered teenager dies in hospital

Lancashire Police have paid tribute to the mother of murdered teenager Sophie Lancaster after she sadly died in hospital.

By Matthew Calderbank
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 12:26 pm

Sylvia Lancaster campaigned tirelessly following her daughter’s murder 15 years ago to challenge and tackle prejudice and hatred through the @sophie_charity.

She sadly passed away in hospital in Blackburn on Tuesday.

Her daughter Sophie, 20, was attacked in Stubby Lee Park in Bacup in August 2007 by a gang of youths who targeted her because she was a goth. She died after two weeks in hospital.

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Sylvia Lancaster, who sadly passed away in hospital on Tuesday, campaigned tirelessly to challenge prejudice and hatred following the murder of her daughter Sophie in 2007

Her boyfriend Robert Maltby was also seriously injured but survived.

Ryan Herbert, then 16, and Brendan Harris, then 15, were jailed for her murder and three others for wounding.

Sylvia was a member of the government’s hate crime advisory group and was given an OBE in 2014 in recognition of her work.

Her championing work also included giving help and advice to the officers and staff of Lancashire Police by providing guidance on dealing with hate crime and training family liaison officers.

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In tribute to Sylvia, assistant chief constable Ian Dawson said: “I cannot even begin to imagine the grief and suffering Sylvia must have gone through following Sophie’s murder but the determination she showed to forge a positive legacy from that tragedy is truly inspiring.

“Sylvia did so much to challenge prejudice, hate and intolerance through the @sophie_charity and to ensure that Sophie’s name will live on through her invaluable work.

“Sophie’s murder had a huge impact on so many people, including many officers and staff in the Constabulary and Sylvia has provided some hugely valuable guidance to officers dealing with hate crime and has spoken with great eloquence and passion as part of the training we give to our family liaison officers.

“Her contribution to public service has been enormous and she will be greatly missed.”