Monday, November 10, 2008

Attack in Poole

Poole man

Mum’s praise for Goth rescue man

10:00am Friday 7th November 2008

THE devastated mum of Sophie Lancaster, the young Goth woman murdered as she tried to protect her boyfriend from a gang attack, has praised the Poole man who broke up a similar brawl on Halloween.

Aran Pope, who witnessed a gang of eight youths surrounding three teenage Goths in Parkstone, stepped in after recalling Sophie’s fate.

Sophie’s mum, Sylvia – who has since established a foundation in her daughter’s name – said: “Mr Pope is obviously very brave and if more people stood up to bullies in the way that he did, they may think twice in the future.

“I have read the article regarding the attack on the Goth teenagers and I would like to say to Mr Pope: well done.”

Mr Pope, 35, who spotted one Goth teen being punched and kicked on the floor, told the Daily Echo: “As it was happening, the young Goth woman who was killed popped into my head. I just knew I had to do something.”

He managed to disperse the group with the help of a passing off duty policeman, and was praised by Dorset Police for his public-spiritedness. No-one was seriously injured in the incident.

Earlier this year, Sophie, 20, was kicked to death by two 16-year-olds in a Lancashire park as she tried to protect her boyfriend, attacked simply because he was a follower of the Goth subculture.

Sophie’s mum said: “Since the death of my daughter I, along with friends, have set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. We receive, on almost a daily basis, instances of violence against young people from alternative subcultures, and we as a foundation are trying to raise awareness of the intolerance they face.”

Following Friday’s Parkstone incident, four people have been arrested and released on police bail. The investigation is ongoing.

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