"I hope therefore that, as a society, we can use what has happened to reflect on where we are going and what changes we need to make to prevent others suffering in this way." Miss Lancaster's murder, which occurred on the same night that father-of-three Garry Newlove was being killed by a gang of drunken youths 40 miles away in Cheshire, yet again highlights the deadly toll binge drinking and violence is having on Britain's streets. Her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, 21, who survived the attack, said he was tormented by guilt because Miss Lancaster had been fatally attacked after she tried to help him."I just really wish that she had just legged it and got out of there and waited until they had left and come back, but I just wish she had left me to die if I'm honest," he said.
Miss Lancaster, who was due to start an English degree at university a month later, cradled her boyfriend's head in her lap and begged his laughing attackers to leave him alone after they battered him unconscious.Preston Crown Court heard that Miss Lancaster and Mr Maltby both from Bacup, Lancashire, were making their way through the town's Stubbylee Park shortly after midnight on August 10 last year.Initially, they struck up a good-natured chat with a large group of teenagers and Miss Lancaster handed out cigarettes but suddenly a gang of five teenage boys turned on Mr Maltby, a university art student.Herbert, who is known by the nicknames Razzy and Peanut, admitted Miss Lancaster's murder and assaulting Mr Maltby at an earlier hearing.Three other males, two aged 17 and one 16, who cannot not be named, also pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Maltby.
Although Mr Maltby survived, he has suffered lasting injuries and has virtually no memory of the attack.