DAA News Network

UK: Failure to deal with disability hate crimes leads to mother and daughter murder/suicide

Posted 21/9-09 at 18.32

A mother who killed herself and her disabled daughter by setting fire to their car had been unable to get help against constant abuse and intimidation from local youths.

A coroner's jury in Loughborough heard that Fiona Pilkington's complaints went largely unanswered by police, who felt she was ‘over reacting'.

At one point her son Anthony, who has severe dyslexia, was locked in a shed at knifepoint and beaten with a metal bar by two eleven-year olds.

The gang shouted at Francecca, who had severe learning difficulties, to lift up her nightdress. They also pelted the family's home with eggs, flour and stones and shouted insults about the children's being disabled.

Mrs. Pilkington's mother said, "Fiona couldn't defend herself. She was very shy and didn't want any trouble. It was going on for so long I thought somebody would have done something. Fiona just gave up. She was in despair really, nobody did anything to help her, not the police, the council or the Neighbourhood Watch."

The police, admitted many of Ms Pilkington's calls were not linked and were regarded as anti-social behaviour. On some occasions the reports were not passed on to the street's beat officer.

Editorial Comment:

The failure of the police adequately to investigate the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence was labelled in an official inquiry as "institutional racism". To us at DAA this terrible and tragic case seems on the face of it to indicate "institutional disabilism' on the part of police in Leicestershire. We know that hate crimes against disabled people are widespread. This incident is just the tip of the iceberg. It demands an official enquiry, as well as immediate action from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

So much for the police commitment to responding to hate crime against disabled people.




Comment added 03/12-13 at 10.49 by: author (sd@gmail.com)


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