Steven Hoskin had strong feelings about his killers. They had abused, exploited and humiliated him over a year, taking his money, treating him as their slave and making him wear his own dog's collar and lead. Eventually, having forced him to swallow 70 painkillers, they took him to the top of a railway viaduct and made him hang from the railings as one member of the gang, a girl aged 16, stamped on his hands until he fell 30 metres to his death.This report was tweeted on Tuesday by BendyGirl and picked up by Tim Worstall.
The abuse of vulnerable adults has been highlighted many times by Laban Tall, and the stories make utterly heartrending reading:
Yet these were the people the 38-year-old, who had severe learning disabilities, had boasted excitedly of counting as friends. "He thought they were the cat's whiskers," says Morley Richards, who had known Hoskin before he met the group. "He would say, 'They're my mates, I've got my own mates now.'"My god, you could just weep...
Of course, this could have been foreseen:
As more individuals are given the chance to live independently, the unwelcome side effect is that they are more likely to fall prey to criminals.Once, however, those criminals would have been dealt with, harshly. Now, they are left free to prey on the weak by the same progressive ideologues who demanded a closure of the old asylums…
The Association for Real Change (ARC) has been researching mate crime for the past year in Calderdale, west Yorkshire, and in north Devon, after a groundswell of concern among its members who are service providers for people with learning disabilities.Once we had 'support staff'. Now, we have 'service providers'. We've come a long way, eh?
The victim may not realise that what is happening is wrong. "There can be a feeling of, 'He's my friend, that's what friends do,'" says Grundy. "People with learning disabilities have fewer friends. For some, any friends is better than no friends, even if they're spending all your money.The whole of their lives? Or just once they are cut adrift from family and urged to seek their new found independence?
"It involves a lot of issues [around] self-belief and self-worth: thinking it's all right for people to walk all over them all the time, because that's what's happened to them the whole of their lives."
Rod Landman, from the north Devon project, likens the situation to domestic violence.In the refusal of the victim to appreciate that he/she is a victim, perhaps. But I can't help but wonder what the feminists are going to make of a comparison to people with learning difficulties!
Some families and frontline social care staff are still unaware of what constitutes a disability hate crime and what to do when one happens, says Grundy. Abusive relationships may get flagged up to adult safeguarding teams, but their primary aim is to keep the individual safe by removing them from the situation, rather than report those committing the crimes.Because it's just part of the same idealogy that insists these people are better off independent in the first place, no matter whether it's what they want or can cope with.
The 'it's all society's fault!' brigade, the 'their mothers never hugged them enough!' mob and the 'all crime is down to deprivation' group. They all refuse to see what's right in front of their noses - some people are predatory, born without empathy and dedicated to ensuring that they get what they want regardless of who they have to hurt to do so.
The same impulse which tells a progressive that a chronically mentally disabled adult can live in the community also tells them that those that prey on them are 'disadvantaged', and shouldn't be punished for their crimes.
Naturally, this can all be made better with other people's money:
As cuts lead to the closure of day centres and potentially less support for vulnerable people, there are fears that the situation could get worse.How about we build more prisons, then, to ensure that the sort of people who prey on the weak stay behind bars?