Hands up who's heard of
a lady called Constance Brown? No? Didn't think so somehow.
Constance Brown was 72. On 2nd April 1993, Constance
Brown was attacked in Natal Road, Streatham by one Anthony
Small, 18. He knocked her to the ground, smashing her
head against the pavement, then ran off with the contents
of her handbag. Anthony Small was convicted of manslaughter
and sentenced to five years in jail. He was released
after less than three. In June 1997, he was again sentenced
to five years in jail for supplying heroin. In 1996,
Anthony Small's mother, Janet Scafe, was awarded £110,000
compensation for false arrest, relating to an incident
in 1991 in which she tried to help her son, who was
being arrested over a separate matter. She was later
acquitted of assault, but her son was convicted of obstructing
a police officer.
Elizabeth Pinhom was 96. On 9th
June 1997 she opened the door of her house in Sunray
Avenue, Herne Hill, and was yanked down the concrete
front steps of her home. A man was seen fleeing the
scene with her handbag. Elizabeth Pinhom later died
in hospital. No one has been convicted of her murder.
Thomas Kidd was 61. On 6th May
1995, he was returning from a VE day celebration to
his home in Tulse Hill, when two youths assaulted him
and took £100 from him. He later died from internal
bleeding. Two youths, whose names were not released
because of their age, were arrested. One of them confessed
to police officers that he had spent his share of the
proceeds of the mugging on a pair of designer jeans.
The two were originally charged with manslaughter (not
murder, mind you) but this charge was dropped because
the prosecution could not prove that Mr Kidd had died
as a direct result of the injuries which he had sustained.
They were convicted of assault, and sentenced to five
years youth custody.
Ted Howell was 75. He was a former
Royal Engineer, and World War Two veteran. On 9th November
1995, Ted Howell was followed home to Romborough Road,
Lewisham, from the post office where he had just collected
his pension, by a 15 year old called Cleon Read, who
was at the time on bail awaiting trial for seven burglaries.
Cleon Read stabbed him five times with a kitchen knife,
and stole his pension. He was later arrested. He was
released into the care of Southwark Social Services.
A social worker took him on an outing to Crystal Palace
swimming pool, where he escaped. He was later recaptured
and convicted of murder. Which means that he will probably
be out of jail long before his twenty-fifth birthday.
Leslie Watkinson was 66, and a
former Salvation Army major. On 9th December 1994, Leslie
Watkinson was attacked 100 yards from his home in Hooks
Road, Peckham, by three youths who knocked him to the
ground and stole his pension. One of the three was heard
to exclaim: "I bust his head, I bust his head", as he
made his escape. Leslie Watkinson was pronounced dead
on arrival at Kings College Hospital. At the subsequent
inquest, Detective Chief Inspector William Hose stated
that 54 suspects had been targeted, and 27 arrested,
but no-one had been charged. The coroner, Dr Philip
Joseph, said: "The Police have conducted an extensive
investigation but have been unable to gather enough
information to charge anyone. Sadly, it seems that whoever
was responsible for this may get away with it."
Frank Dempsey was 56. He had pleurisy,
which meant that he had to occasionally hawk up phlegm
and spit it out. On 7th February 1995, he was walking
down Clapham Park Road when he spat onto the ground.
A man walking nearby turned on him screaming abuse,
and produced a knife which he plunged into Frank Dempsey's
chest. As the victim collapsed in a pool of blood, his
attacker kicked him several times. He then ran off into
Holwood Place. Frank Dempsey later died in hospital.
As far as I am aware, no one has been convicted of his
you guess what all these people had in common?
They were all white.
And can you guess what their assailants had in common?
had other things in common too. They
all took place within a few miles of Eltham, the scene
of Stephen Lawrence's murder. However, none of
them made the front page of any national newspaper.
In fact, for the most part, they did not make the front
page of the South London Press. There were
no public enquiries about them. There are no plaques
to mark the spots where the victims fell. There were
no bandwagon-jumping books or plays written about them.
The Guardian and the Independent
and the Observer wrote no editorials about
them. Tony Blair did not make any speeches about them.
Michael Mansfield QC did not represent the bereaved
families at the inquests. There were no marches to protest
about these killings, or the subsequent failure of the
criminal justice system to do very much about them.
"Institutional racism" was never mooted as a possible
causal factor in these failures.