Vile website mocks murder of Sophie Lancaster
A VILE website which mocks the murder of Sophie Lancaster has been slammed by her appalled mother.
Sylvia Lancaster said she was desperate for the hurtful webpage glorifying the killers of her 20-year-old daughter to be taken offline.
The site called Encyclopedia Dramatica praises Sophie’s killers Ryan Herbert and Brendan Harris, and others involved in the 2007 Bacup murder, saying they should be ‘knighted’ rather than be in prison.
It comes as a double blow to Sylvia after it was alleged that Herbert, 20, currently serving life for Sophie’s murder, has been accessing Facebook from prison.
Because the Encyclopedia Dramatica website is registered abroad the Government has no power to remove it.
But after learning of the site, Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry said he would lobby the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt to extend powers to tackle hate websites.
Sylvia said: “It is absolutely disgusting. It’s a horrible, horrible website that is deeply offensive.
“We’ve tried not to say anything about it, but occasionally people come across it and it brings everything back up every time.
“We’ve tried to have internet experts get it closed down, but haven’t had any success.
“The people behind this phenomenon of ‘trolling’ - where people deliberately post offensive material on the internet to get a reaction - have caused great upset.
“Now it has come out because of what happened with Ryan Herbert’s Facebook page.
“I’ll never understand what goes through some people’s minds. They will latch on to anything which causes maximum upset. Do they think it is funny, hiding behind their screens?
“There are pictures on there of Sophie with really offensive captions underneath. It is so unnecessary and hurtful.”
The website, in the style of Wikipedia - but not connected to the site - re-tells the story of Sophie’s murder in an attack which almost claimed the life of her boyfriend Robert Maltby.
They were targeted because of their alternative dress sense.
But in a sickening twist, the author said: “Reports say the attack was unprovoked but as with all 'alternative' weirdos, they were obviously asking for it. Nobody cared.
“After the attack she was taken to hospital, where natural selection ended what the chavs had started.
“The heroes who performed this social service were tried and convicted of murder.
“They are currently appealing on the grounds that in reality they did the world a favour, and should be knighted rather than locked up.”
It uses phrases such as ‘duly and fairly curb-stomped’ and ‘quickly dispatched’ to describe the horrific murder.
Record show the website is registered to a Netherlands address, but the domain name is Swiss and it is hosted by a San Francisco-based server. However it claims to be hosted in Ukraine which it says doesn’t recognise copywright, defamation or libel.
Jake Berry said: “I absolutely abhor this sort of website. Sophie’s murder was one of the most tragic and awful crimes to happen to East Lancashire in living memory.
“It is vital that this sort of disgraceful incitement is taken down immediately and I am calling for it to be removed.
“This phenomenon of internet trolling is something the Government should look at and I will be speaking to the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt to see what powers the Government has already to deal with this website.
“If they are inadequate I will be pressing to extend their powers to this sort of hate crime.
A police spokesman said: “We have been made aware of the website and we will be looking into it.”
Sylvia said she was speaking out following the revelation that a Facebook site had allegedly been used by one of her daughter’s killers while he is in prison.
The account is under the name of ‘Ryan Smith’ but has a picture of Herbert, his correct date of birth and says he’s from Bacup. It has now been closed by the social networking site.
Sylvia said: “Once I found out I spoke to Lancashire Police who set the wheels in motion. From what I understand, the Ministry of Justice are now investigating.
“It is an insult to us and to Sophie’s memory.”
Having a Facebook account while in prison is not a breach of the site’s terms and conditions, but allowing others to access it or using it to intimidate witnesses is.
A Prison Service spokesperson said an investigation was on going.
He said: “Prisoners have no access to the internet and are barred from updating their Facebook accounts while serving their sentence, or asking others to do so from outside prison. If they do, their accounts will be terminated.
“If a prisoner is found in illicit possession of a mobile phone or other contraband they will be dealt with appropriately by the prison.”
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