Brendan Harris and Ryan Herbert, the two teenagers accused of murdering Sophie Lancaster (pictured above) because she was a goth, have been given life sentences.
The duo, who are 15 and 16 years old respectively, received their sentences at Preston Crown Court today (April 28). Harris will serve a minimum of 18 years in jail, Herbert must serve a minimum of 16.
The pair kicked Lancaster to death in Stubbylee Park in Bacup, Lancashire last summer, reports BBC News.
Three further teenagers received jail sentences for their involvement in the attack. Joseph and Danny Hulme received a sentence of five years and ten months each. Daniel Mallett received a sentence of four years and four months. Danny Hulme was 16, while the other two teenagers were both 17.
Lancaster had attempted to prevent the five teenagers from attacking her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, before being fatally attacked herself.
Judge Anthony Russell QC described the behaviour of the Harris and Herbet as “feral thuggery”. He added, “This was a terrible case which has shocked and outraged all who have heard about it. At least wild animals, when they hunt in packs, have a legitimate reason for so doing, to obtain food.”
Speaking to the pair as he sentenced them, Russell said: “You have none [legitimate reasons for attack] and your behaviour on that night degrades humanity itself.”
The judge went on to describe the goth community as “perfectly peaceful law-abiding people who pose no threat to anybody”.
Speaking to the sentenced duo again he said: “This was a hate crime against these completely harmless people targeted because their appearance was different to yours.”