Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Demonising The Kids

One-way intergenerational warfare continues :

Witness Lisa Collier told the court she saw a hooded boy grab Mr Greenwood by his clothes and pull him down on to the floor before aiming at least three or four kicks to his head. "From where I was it looked like he was directly kicking that person in the head," she told the jury. Miss Collier said she heard "muffled thuds" as the boy kicked Mr Greenwood "forcefully" before he and another boy, who she did not see taking part in the attack, left the scene.

After the attack, Miss Collier watched as Mr Greenwood used a set of railings to pull himself to his feet and made his way "unsteadily" towards where she was standing. "He was swaying from side to side," she said. "He's done some big sways then stumbled towards the road and then just fell on to the road."

So far, so par. Just another couple of kids kicking a middle aged man to death. Nothing unusual about that in twenty-first century England. It was this that really said something :

Mr Greenwood told Miss Collier he was on his way to visit his children when he was attacked. He said he did not see his attackers' faces because his eyesight was so poor. Miss Collier said: "He needed to apparently use a white stick but he told me that he chose not to because it attracted attention from people and he'd been attacked before."

Hat-tip - Bodo in the comments. Those of you still not depressed enough - try John Trenchard's British Crime Blog - logging violent incidents as recorded by the BBC (i.e. nowhere near all of them - even some murders don't get reported. Like the death of James Houliston. Also recommended - Somebody Got Murdered - monitoring UK murders. I found this last week then forgot the name. If the owner keeps it updated it could be a valuable resource.)

James Houliston memorial in Shoreditch Park.


Anonymous said...

Re your remarks in your James Houliston post: I started a blog attempting to record all UK murders (slightly narrower definition than homicide) from 17th August. See somebodygotmurdered.blogspot.com.

bodo said...

The article says;

"Earlier in the trial, the court heard the boys launched the attack after Mr Greenwood kicked out at one them as they pretended to punch him and threatened to stab him with a penknife."

I wonder if this is part of their defence? Mitigation?
I can picture a near-blind man, desperate, terrified, in fear of his life, thrashing out blindly - literally - in self defence.

It fills me with anger. It also makes me want to cry.

Anonymous said...

This story is just horrible, but think how much less civilised things would be if these misguided youths were subject to the kind of brutalising, corporal punishment routinely meted out in schools in the barbaric 50s and 60s. /sarcasm off

Susan said...

This article also makes me want to cry. A blind man being kicked to death by feral youth?

JuliaM said...


Just when you thought you'd seen the most disgusting thing ever......British yobs go one better.

Susan said...


That article is heartbreaking, especially when juxtaposed with all the lightweight celebrity/royal chit-chat at the right. Two different worlds, for sure.

houlie said...

Well, where do I start? I am James Houliston’s big brother. It is a fact that all the members of the gang who attacked James were black/Indian, apart from one white female and from the start I would like to get something very clear, which is that my little brother James didn’t have one scrap of racism in his blood. He would have gone out of his way to help any man, woman or child. James had a son who was named after him - he was a lovely little fella. Sadly, he had a very short life as he got hit by a motorbike on his way to school aged five. He never had a chance as he had too much damage to his brain stem and so never pulled through. My little brother James, his father, also died in exactly the same way. James senior never ever got over what happened to his son and I do mean he never got over it I think that is why he turned to drink, but he seemed to struggle by every day. Now, as far as these killers are concerned and I do mean killers, what they said to James as he was walking by that peaceful day in the park I wouldn’t repeat as it was so low, but James walked away. It was only later on when James was walking on his own that he was attacked by one of these mindless thugs. These 10 losers confronted James again for nothing, just because they were all stoned out of their heads and they thought “yes, we’ve got a victim”. That’s all he was to this lowlife and his mates, another victim attacked for their own warped entertainment. Who will be next on their list? You, me, the next-door neighbour? We just don’t know. As for James, he never stood a chance. James came from a very large family - he had four brothers and two sisters so you can imagine all the cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas and all the friends of the family. James was a big part of that, then these killers came along and took my little brother away from us. Now, for me and the rest of his extensive family, memories are all we have, some bad, but mainly good. We did everything you can imagine during childhood from swimming in the sea on the west coast of Scotland, Burns country (James loved Rabbie Burns), to playing soldiers on the sandy beaches, having pillow fights, rolling our boiled eggs down the hills in the countryside, fighting in the bath together, running to school in case we were late. I could go on and on - the list would be endless, so to say his death is a big loss for me is an understatement. I miss him so much - everyone that knew him misses him - he was one of a kind. In the last days of his life after the attack in the park, spent unconscious in hospital, I think I knew that we would have to let him go as his brain was slowly pushing out of a hole in the side of his head. We were all there holding his hands just hoping, but deep down I knew I must let my little brother go - it was so hard and still is. All the family were called to the hospital - they came from all over Britain. One of our sisters is blind but even she travelled from Lancashire to be with James during his last hours. She is his eldest sister and was like a little mother to him when he was a boy, and one of the most poignant moments in that hospital was when she was saying goodbye to him and commented “Aye, I won’t be changing your nappies any more little brother”. When we were all together in the hospital, we were told that we had to let our brother go as he was brain dead. That killed all our hopes. We were told it would take James between three and five minutes to die. It didn’t - it was over thirty-five minutes which was very distressing. My whole family had to sit through all this. It feels as if someone has cut a limb from my body and still these killers walk these streets. James has two other sons, one of whom is seeing a psychiatrist in the aftermath of his father’s death and the other finding it hard to even get out of bed. His other sister still hasn’t gone back to work as a much needed midwife - it is soul-destroying for everyone, all because someone else couldn’t bring their children up to be decent guys. Someone out there knows who they are - let me tell you people, these are the scum of the earth, they are lowlife KILLERS. They took a lovely guy’s life away putting his family through torture, but believe me, the net is closing in, so if you were there in the park that day in that “gang” but didn’t do anything, please, please get on the phone to the police now. Imagine if it was a member of your family who’d been attacked - wouldn’t you want justice? Do you have a conscience? It could be your last chance before it is too late. If any of you do read this, just spare a thought this Christmas when you’re sitting round your Christmas trees with your loved ones exchanging presents, for James and his family. We will all be in Scotland standing round James’ son’s grave burying his father’s ashes with him, saying prayers on a cold winter’s day. I have no wish to offend anybody by the following, but I often wonder whether this case would be nearer being solved if the gang had been made up of white men attacking a black person (which would be equally as horrific) and I can’t help feeling this is likely which, sadly, is a depressing sign of the times. Thanks a lot for reading this and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from James’ big brother, Brian.