Goths unite in tribute bid for tragic Sophie

FRIENDS of a young woman beaten to death are raising money for a memorial to her.

Sophie Lancaster, 20, suffered horrific head injuries in a mob attack which also left her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, fighting for his life.

Her parents turned off her life support machine after doctors said she would not recover.

Both Sophie and Robert, whose parents Tracy and David run the Cheers off-licence in Todmorden, were fans of the Goth culture and it is thought they were targeted for that reason.

Now, members of the Goth community are hoping to raise 1,600 to pay for a bench and plaque to be put in Whitby, near the famous whalebones, looking out to sea.

Whitby is famous for its Goth Weekends, which will be held on October 26 and 27 this year. Ribbon roses will be sold from the information stall at the Pavillion Spa Complex to raise money for the memorial bench.

If more than 1,600 is raised, the extra money will go towards reforestation schemes in the UK to plant trees in her memory.

A music concert, with some of her favourite local bands, is planned on the eve of what would have been Sophie's 21st birthday on November 25, in Rawtenstall, Lancashire.

At midnight, a one minute 'noise' will be held with all the bands as a show of 'solidarity and respect' for Sophie.

The attack on Sophie, from Bacup, and Robert happened in a park in the town on August 11.

Three Lancashire youths have appeared in court charged with her murder. Two boys aged 15 and 16 from Shawforth, and a 17-year-old from Bacup were bailed by Burnley magistrates. Two other youths, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, are due to appear in court later.