THE HORRIFIC killing of a partially-sighted Sheffield man who died after he was kicked to death at a city tram stop is included in a new book about disabled hate crime.
Colin Greenwood, aged 45, died after teenage thugs Lewis Barlow and Leon Gray, both 14 at the time, repeatedly punched him and stamped on his head.
The savage pair beat up the father-of-four, who was partially blind and registered as disabled, as he made his way to his Dryden Road home in Southey Green.
The thugs, from the Winn Gardens estate, were found guilty of murder, detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure and told they must serve at least 12 years behind bars.
But their convictions were quashed at the Court of Appeal and in a second court hearing they admitted manslaughter on the grounds they caused Mr Greenwood’s death but hadn’t intended to. They were jailed for four years each and told they must serve half their sentences.
The case is featured in a new book called Scapegoat, written by campaigning journalist Katharine Quarmby. The award-winning film-maker is an associate editor at Prospect magazine and has produced films for BBC Newsnight, BBC Current Affairs and BBC Panorama. She has also news edited Disability Now and written for the Economist, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Guardian.
Katharine said: “Every few months there’s a shocking news story about a sustained, and often fatal, attack on a disabled person.
“It’s easy to write off such cases as bullying that got out of hand, terrible criminal anomalies or regrettable failures of the care system, but in fact they point to a more uncomfortable and fundamental truth about how our society treats its most unequal citizens.
“It’s not just in the poorer areas of Britain that such attitudes exist. The recent mocking in the House of Commons of Conservative MP Paul Maynard, who has cerebral palsy, suggests how pervasive prejudices against disabled people are.”
Katharine was the first British journalist to investigate disability hate crime. Her report for the Scope charity, Getting Away with Murder, was the first to highlight the problem in depth.
The book traces prejudice against disabled people from Greek and Roman culture, through the Industrial Revolution and the origins of Britain’s asylum system to the Holocaust.