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Tributes to ‘inspirational’ Sylvia Lancaster flood in following her sudden death 

‘An amazing woman’

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Sophie Lancaster Foundation

Following the tragic news yesterday that Sophie Lancaster’s mum has passed away, tributes have been flooding in for the campaigner.

Sylvia Lancaster campaigned tirelessly following the murder of her daughter Sophie, who was kicked to death trying to protect her boyfriend when the couple were attacked for dressing as goths.

Sylvia devoted her life to running a foundation in Sophie’s name, with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation created to promote tolerance and stamp out prejudice and hatred.

Now the tributes have been pouring in, with people taking to social media to praise the incredible things she achieved since her daughter’s tragic death.

Former Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam wrote: “An amazing woman who, following the killing of her daughter Sophie fought for justice and created an amazing legacy to ensure her daughter’s name will always represent her mission – to stamp out prejudice, hatred & intolerance”.

Lancashire Police added: “We are shocked and saddened at Sylvia’s death. She worked tirelessly with us and many others to combat hate, prejudice and intolerance through @sophie_charity and to make sure Sophie’s legacy lives on. RIP Sylvia.”

Following her death, a statement on the foundation’s website read: “This is the hardest statement to write. It is with great shock and disbelief that we announce that Sylvia Lancaster has passed away. She died early this morning in Blackburn hospital.

“She had suffered from ill health for the last couple of years, but her death was sudden and unexpected. Sylvia had such a powerful life force; we cannot imagine a world without her in it.”

The tribute continued: “Following Sophie’s brutal murder, Sylvia put her energy into championing people from alternative subcultures and creating educational programmes to tackle prejudice and intolerance.

“She worked tirelessly to combat the inaccurate and lazy stereotyping that all too often leads to violent prejudice and promoted a culture of celebrating difference; something that leads to safer communities for us all.

“Sylvia was formidable. She challenged authority and fought for what she believed in. Her legacy is that Sophie will never be forgotten, and her daughter’s name will always represent her mission – to Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere.

“She will be sadly missed.

“There will be much to say over the course of the next few months. Initially all our thoughts are focused on supporting Adam and his family in the coming days and weeks.

“Hold those you love a little bit closer today.

“We are finishing for the last time using Sylvia’s sign off. Love and Light, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation Team.”
 

Sylvia recently spoke of her disappointment, as her daughter’s murderer Ryan Herbert is set to be freed from prison.

Herbert was sixteen-years-old when he was jailed for life in 2008 for murdering Sophie, twenty, in a park in Bacup, Lancashire.

Sophie and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were attacked by Herbert and five other teenage boys on August 11th, 2007. Sophie bore the brunt of the attack as she attempted to protect Robert from the assault, which was believed to have been provoked over their goth appearances.

The couple were so badly beaten that when paramedics arrived, they could not tell if they were male or female.

Lancashire Police

Herbert admitted both murder and assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and was given a minimum term of sixteen years and three months, though this was later reduced to fifteen and a half years.

Last month, it was announced that Herbert will be released from prison, with High Court judge Mr Justice William Davis concluding that he had made ‘exceptional progress’ behind bars.

Speaking to ITV News at the time, Sylvia said: “They haven’t done justice for our Sophie. All you want at the end of the day is justice.

“You don’t want anything out of the ordinary, you just want justice.”

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation

Reacting to the Parole Board’s conclusion that Herbert has made ‘significant changes to his life which reflected his remorse, his insight and increased maturity’, Sylvia said: “I hope he has. I hope he has for his sake and for society’s sake.

“We don’t want men walking round with vicious and ridiculous ideas about how he should behave.

“I do understand that people can change – and do change – but I think that we’ll sit back and see what happens.”

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Man, 27, killed after Audi crashes into wall as police appeal for information

A 27-year-old man has been arrested

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Police are appealing for information after a man was killed when a car smashed into a wall in Stockport. 

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the tragic incident.

An Audi S3 was travelling North East along Broadstone Road on Saturday night when it collided with the Houldsworth Mill external perimeter wall, opposite the Grey Horse Public House, police said.

The man, a 27-year-old passenger, sadly died in the collision which happened at around 6pm on Saturday, February 24th.

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Emergency services rushed to attend the scene of the incident but the passenger sadly passed away. The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody while enquiries continue.

Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to make a report.

Google Maps

They are also keen to speak to anyone who may have any footage – including dashcam, CCTV, or mobile phone footage – from the area in the moments leading up to the collision.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 4741, quoting log number 2429 of 25/02/24.

Information can also be shared using GMP’s ‘tell us about’ tool or LiveChat function on the force’s website: www.gmp.police.uk.

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Strictly’s Amy Dowden shares ‘no evidence of disease’ in cancer update

‘I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life!’

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@amy_dowden / Instagram

Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden shared her latest health update after her cancer diagnosis last year.

The professional dancer was first diagnosed with breast cancer last May, at the age of 32.

Dowden was forced to take a step back from the show while she faced treatment and shared the news with fans.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She joined the long-running hit reality ballroom dancing series in 2017, but was forced to pull out of the show after doctors discovered she also had tumours elsewhere in her body and would have to undergo a gruelling course of chemotherapy.

The star explained her ‘journey had changed’ with another update in an Instagram Live conversation with breast cancer survivor and Paralympic gold medalist Erin Kennedy, for the cancer charity CoppaFeel! in July 2023.

Dowden was originally meant to have a ‘lumpectomy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment’, but was then told she would have to undergo a mastectomy as well as chemotherapy.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She said: “So, all of a sudden, then I realised, and you get scared, but the oncologist did say that with chemo I’ve got a really good chance of a cure.

“I was really scared and I didn’t want to do chemo but then seeing someone like yourself [Erin] who’s carried on and for me straight away it was my dancing, like, you can take away my boob but you can’t take my dancing away from me and that’s what I get really upset about.”

In a recent update shared with her 659,000 followers on Instagram, Dowden had some very good news in her journey.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She wrote: “NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! Words I dreamed of! My biggest accomplishment yet!

“I won’t be getting the all clear for 5 years especially with a hormone fed cancer. But it was all worth it. Words I never thought I’d hear at one point. So grateful for all the care I received and continue to have.

“To my husband, family and friends who supported me unconditionally and to you guys! Thank you!”

@amy_dowden / Instagram

Though the dancer still has a way to go as she recovers from the toll the last year has taken on her body. 

She continued: “I will still need a monthly injection for 5 years and regular check ups.

“Chemo and this past year has certainly took its toll on my body both physically and mentally, so I’ll be taking the next few months to heal and recover.”

Ending the post on a positive note, she added: “I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life! 

“Something I know not all get. I certainly see life differently and my life has changed forever!

“Cancer affects too many so I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness and make sure I get as many as I can to #checkthemselves.

“It’s time to look ahead after what’s been the toughest year, and one I certainly didn’t expect! Dance floor I’m coming for you! Welsh love always, Amy x.”

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Taxi driver stopped by police for having illegal and dangerous tyres

‘Check your vehicle before every shift!’

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@WVProtect / Twitter

A taxi driver was caught driving with bald tyres after police officers pulled him over in Greater Manchester.

Officers out on patrol around the city-region as part of an operation with Wolverhampton Council’s Compliance Officers on Saturday night, February 24th, stopped the driver of the black Ford before checking the tyres.

As police made the discovery, in defence the driver claimed he had checked his tyres ‘just last month’.

Images on social media show an officer checking the vehicle along with an image of a tyre with completely worn tread depth – which is illegal and unsafe to drive with.

A spokesperson for City of Wolverhampton Council said: “Compliance Officers patrolled around Greater Manchester last night with Greater Manchester Police. One vehicle suspended for an illegal tyre, also vehicle prohibited by Police. 

“Driver – ‘I checked tyre last month’ … Really!? Check your vehicle before every shift!”

@WVProtect / Twitter

According to car experts at Kwik Fit, the legal limit for the minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is ‘1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre’. 

For safety reasons, it is recommended that you replace your car tyres before the legal limit is reached.

Motorists caught driving with tyres below the legal minimum tread depth could face penalty points being added to their licence and a hefty fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.

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