Friday, February 22, 2008

Roses Blue

I think of tears, I think of rain on shingles
I think of rain, I think of roses blue
I think of Rose, my heart begins to tremble
To see the place she's lately gotten to

She's got into mysterious devotions
She's got into the zodiac and Zen
She's gotten into tarot cards and potions
She's laying her religion on her friends ...


Who says the Sixties culture is dead ? They would have known what to do with Ms Corkhill (a Type 2/3 hybrid) once upon a time up in Darwen.


The mother of a teenage girl who died from a drugs overdose after taking refuge at the home of a self-styled white witch today blasted sentences given to two people in connection with the death. Sue Strickson spoke out after Sally Corkhill, 41, and her lover Lee Harrison, 31, appeared at Preston Crown Court following the death of her daughter Melissa, 13, in October last year.

Corkill, of Sudell Road, Darwen, pleaded guilty to four abduction charges and two of administering a controlled drug and received a total of two years. Harrison received nine months but was released immediately after serving eight months on remand. Melissa, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, died after taking a huge dose of co-proxamol. Hours earlier she had watched two of her three friends take half a tablet each after watching Corkhill slip five crushed tablets into Harrison's beer. The three had run away from home and sought refuge at Corkhill's house.

The four girls, three of who cannot be named for legal reasons, turned up at Corkhill's house on October 8 last year and were allowed to stay overnight. Both the police and the Melissa's mother visited the house the night before the teenager's death, but Corkhill denied they were there.

Judge Openshaw said: "I accept that when you invited the girls in there was never any sinister intention but no attempt was made to contact the police or the parents of the girls. Your own undisciplined and use of drink and drugs within your lifestyle attracted them. Strangers have no right to interfere in family matters by harbouring children and you even lied about not knowing where they were. It is right to say that Melissa helped herself to huge quantities of pill but they were in an unlocked cupboard and the girls had seen you get them. Melissa's death is tragic and had she not stayed at your house she may well be alive now. To Melissa's family and friends, no sentence will ever be sufficient for their loss."

Outside court, Mrs Strickson led protests against the sentence, saying: "We need a public inquiry. A lot has gone wrong. If the police were so suspicious that the girls were hiding at Corkhill's house, why didn't they go back again. If they had, my daughter might well still be alive.


You have to admire the police response.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who was in court to hear the verdict, said it was inappropriate to comment.

9 comments:

JuliaM said...

"Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who was in court to hear the verdict, said it was inappropriate to comment."

Well, at least Ken Foote (social services at Blackburn with Darwen Council) was reassuringly more 'on message':"...it is always important to assess if there are lessons to be learnt. But early indications are that all agencies who had contact with Melissa and her family acted appropriately and in a co-ordinated way..."

Rob said...

I'm quite relieved the copper didn't comment. It saved the usual guff about how it was a "tragedy" for the family and that "his thoughts are with them", etc.

Nice comment from the judge, too, "no sentence will bring her back", etc so he then imposes a ludicrously light sentence. Cynical bastard.

John B said...

2 years in jail for, erm, nothing at all is 'ludicrously light'? What planet are you from, exactly?

Anonymous said...

This case is now over seven years old, and it may intrigue you to know that Judge Openshaw is now The Honourable Mr Justice Openshaw, whist Chief Inspector Smith is now Chief Superintendent Smith.

Meanwhile, of course, Melissa is still very much dead.

Plus ca change...

JuliaM said...

"...2 years in jail for, erm, nothing at all ..."

Nothing at all...? Did you miss this bit:

"Corkill, of Sudell Road, Darwen, pleaded guilty to four abduction charges and two of administering a controlled drug"

John B said...

The "abduction" was a formal charge (she didn't abduct anyone, she merely didn't send the kids home), and the "administering" was to her boyfriend not to the kids.

Yes, obviously, it's right that we have laws saying that you can't just let kids live at your house without telling their guardians, and it's right that she's been punished under these laws, even if it is bloody silly calling them 'abduction' laws.

But 2 years seems steep for that; there's no way she'd've received anything like the same punishment but for the fact that the girl died - and she's no more morally responsible for the girl's death than you would be if your teenage niece drank all your whisky while you were asleep and choked on her own puke.

JuliaM said...

"..she's no more morally responsible for the girl's death than you would be if your teenage niece drank all your whisky while you were asleep and choked on her own puke.."

If my teenage niece ran away from home, and I failed to notify her parents, lied to the police as to her wherabouts, let her stay, swigged whisky like a sailor in front of her, spiked my husband's drink too, then left the bottle within her reach and went to bed, I wouldn't be (in any way) morally in the wrong, according to you...? And I wouldn't deserve the legal punishment for endangerment I'd have coming...?

I think I'm very glad I have my own moral code, and not what passes for yours...

JuliaM said...

<>"...and the "administering" was to her boyfriend not to the kids."<>

And, btw, is this meant to be a mitigation...?!

Laban said...

John's got no kids. And he's a chap of course.

It's a cliche to say he doesn't understand, but 'tis a true one.

Maybe it's a failure of empathy, but it is pretty difficult to imagine the sort of visceral, possessive love most parents have for their kids - I remember being surprised by the strength of my feelings - and the anger, shame and guilt you'd feel because you couldn't stop them being hurt by someone.