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Who is Robert Maltby?

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ROBERT Maltby and his girlfriend, Sophie Lancaster, were attacked by a gang of drunken youths for being dressed as goths.

Sophie was put in a coma, and 13 days after the attack, Robert lost his girlfriend after it was decided to take her off life support.

BBC

Get to know Robert Maltby[/caption]

Who is Robert Maltby?

Robert Maltby was the boyfriend of late Sophie Lancaster.

Maltby, now 35, was left in a coma after the accident, in which he woke up from after a week.

During that time, he was studying Arts at Manchester.

He and his girlfriend were into gothic fashion.

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They met through a friend in 2005 and in an interview with The Guardian in 2017, Maltby explained how he and Sophie formed a great bond.

He explained: “We’d see friends at weekends, but day-to-day it was just the two of us.

“It was always just Rob and Sophie.”

After he recovered from his physical injuries, and tried to get through the mental health stages that the attack left him, he managed to finish an illustration degree in 2016.


Robert admitted that he tries his best to be “Robert Maltby the artist”, but sometimes it’s difficult to not remember about “Robert Maltby the victim of a horrific attack with the dead girlfriend.”

Robert finds it very difficult to explain the loss of his girlfriend and what the attacks made him feel.

Where is Robert Maltby now?

Robert lives in cul-de-sac in Bacup, Lancashire, a 10-minute walk away from the skate park where his girlfriend was killed.

Thanks to his degree, he is trying to work in the arts and produced a film about the tragedy with BBC3.

He tried his best to explain his side of the story to be portrayed in the film, Murdered for Being Different.

The film displayed a detailed reconstruction of the attack but Robert admitted that it was difficult for him to “focus on that part.”

Robert wants to distance himself from the attack and try to rebuild a new life for him, which is still difficult over 10 years later.

What happened to Sophie Lancaster?

In August 2007, Sophie Lancaster was walking with her boyfriend Robert Maltby near the skate park.

They were both into goth fashion and they used to portray this with their dark clothing and makeup.

As they were walking home, a group of drunken youths attacked the couple who did nothing to provoke them.

Robert was first attacked as the gang repeatedly kicked him in the head causing bleeding in his brain.

After torturing Robert, the gang turned to Sophie and stamped on her face, so far that it left a footprint of the attacker’s shoe.

The injuries were so severe, that once the police arrived, they could not identify who was male and who was female.

Sophie was left in a coma and put on life support.

13 days later, on August 24, 2007, it was decided that Sophie will be taken off life support and tragically passed away.

Five teens were arrested with bodily harm until Sophie’s death.

On September 6, 2007, the Burnley Youth Court charged the teens with murder.

Two of them were held in custody while the other three were let out on bail ahead of another trial.

On March 10, the five teens pleaded guilty to bodily harm at the Preston Crown Court, but Ryan Herbert pleaded guilty to murder.

In the end, Ryan and another attacker, Brendan Harris were sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 16 years and three months for Ryan and 18 years for Harris.

The minimum sentence for Ryan was later on appealed and reduced to 15 years and six months.

The other three attackers, brothers Joseph and Danny Hulme and Daniel Mallett, were sentenced to prison for between four years and four months and five years and ten months.

Sophie’s mother, Sylvia, set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to create support for subcultures and hopes that it will help victims of such crimes to come forward.

Sylvia said: “Sophie and Rob had actually been attacked three times previously, but they didn’t report it.

“They didn’t tell me, they didn’t tell the police.

“I would like to think if they had there might have been a different outcome.

“That’s what I want the message to be from this episode.

“If you are attacked you need to report it.”

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Sadly, Sylvia passed away on April 12, 2022.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation confirmed on their Twitter that Sylvia was suffering from “ill health in recent years, but her death was unexpected.”



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