Rock Fan Ben, 16, Beaten For Music Taste

Teenager feared for life as thugs stamped on his head… just two miles from where hate attack killed Sophie Lancaster.
Report by Martin Kielty

A 16-year-old rock fan has told how he feared for his life as 15 thugs stamped on his head – just because he was a fan of rock music.

Ben Moores, 16, thought he was going to die after a group of yobs left him in a pool of blood after attacking him in the street in Manchester, England.

The brutal assault took place in the city’s Waterfoot area – just two miles from where goth metal fan Sophie Lancaster was murdered for her choice of clothing in 2007.

Ben tells the Manchester Evening News: “When they got me on the floor I thought I was going to die. There was no stopping them.

“I was getting kicked and stamped in my head and my wrists, and my hair was being pulled out. There was nothing I could do. They wouldn’t let up.

“It’s all because I dress a bit different and have different interests.”

Ben’s mother, Gayle, says: “It was awful. He had blood pouring from his ears and face, and he had bald patches.”

Seven youths have been arrested over the cowardly attack, but have been released on bail until May. The crime follows a similar hate-fuelled act in Manchester in November, when a woman suffered a fractured eye socket after thugs stamped on her head for wearing goth clothing.

Sylvia Lancaster, an active anti-hate campaigner since her daughter Sophie was killed five years ago, says: “People ganging together like that and thinking of it as fun is just wrong. It is very sad that there have been no lessons learned.”

Brendan Harris, then 15, and Ryan Herbert, 16, were jailed for 18 and 16 years respectively for Sophie’s murder.

The Bloodstock festival inaugurated a special Sophie Lancester stage in 2001 in honour of her memory.

The Sophie Lancester Foundation’s website is here.

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