HATE CRIMES: THE CASE AGAINST CARE IN THE COMMUNITY
Even when the 23-year-old - who had learning difficulties - was being subjected to an onslaught of violence, Newcastle Crown Court was told he did not lift an aggressive finger to his attackers.
The two teenagers - one aged 16, the other 17 - and a 21-year-old man who killed him have been warned they face a mandatory life sentence.
Over two years it identified fifty-one cases of people with a wide range of disabilities being attacked. Detailed in this dossier are some truly horrific attacks:
In Cornwall in 2006, Steven Hoskin, who had learning disabilities, was murdered by people he thought were his friends. He was led around on a dog's lead and then made to hang from a viaduct by his fingertips. He fell to his death when they stamped on his hands.
In the Forest of Dean a few months later, Kevin Davies who had epilepsy and learning difficulties died after being tortured and kept in a shed. His tormentors were jailed for unlawful detention.
And in April of last year, Colin Greenwood who was blind, was kicked to death by two teenagers in Sheffield. He told the woman who went to help him he had stopped using his white stick because it attracted attention and he'd been attacked before.
Katharine Quarmby, news editor at Disability Now, was shocked by what she found: "I think it tells us that disabled people are targeted by a certain number of people in the population and they are seen as easy targets because of their disabilities. [From the BBC website 23/01/2008]
Why when these despicable attacks are becoming more frequent are certain charities closing down rural village communities and pushing the concept of care in the community?
These rural communities are usually situated in pleasant surroundings with beautiful views. They provide both safe accommodation and the chance to enjoy crafts such as pottery and woodwork. Yet are close enough to towns to allow residents to go to college and take part in local activities.
Why close them? Why deliberately move the residents into flats and houses in the more deprived areas of towns where they will be in danger of adding to these statistics?
Apparently the residents will be able to walk to the shops and to the pub. Of course whether they will be able to walk back home again is questionable in our broken society.
I shall be posting again on this subject in the next few weeks, and perhaps explaining what happens when there is an unholy marriage between philosophy and finance.