Sentence is far too soft

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WHAT started as horseplay ended in tragedy and those involved will never forget it.

Jordan Sheard ignited a cigarette lighter close to 18-year-old Steven Simpson’s groin minutes after his victim had been doused in tanning oil.

Sheard was then ‘egged on’ by other partygoers to ignite the flammable oil which had been thrown over Steven. He went up in flames and died from the extent of his injuries a few days later.

The sentence handed out for his manslaughter is nothing short of an outrage. This was a hate crime against a man with disabilities and should have been treated as such.

This may have started out as horseplay. But horseplay should be treated as equal on equal. This was a man with a form of autism who was not equal to his killer. It was bullying and bullying on the basis of a person’s sexuality and disability - a hate crime.

A man’s life has been destroyed and the perpetrator has got off far too leniently.

New shops show limit of ambition

WE are struggling to hide our disappointment about the announcement of who will be the new tenants of the building vacated by TJ Hughes in the city centre.

On the day that Leeds city centre opened its flagship Trinity shopping complex with high street brands we can only lick our lips at the prospect of seeing here in Sheffield, we are left with Poundland and Sports Direct as the new occupiers of this landmark site.

Now we don’t disagree that both shops have a place in the shopping mix of any city centre, but as we still wait for Sevenstone to get off the ground, are we really saying that the height of our shopping ambition can only be Poundland?

Currently we are languishing low in the list of city centre desirable shopping destinations while Leeds is soaring way above us.

We have lost a vital opportunity to send a message to high value retailers that we are serious about shopping.

Thanks Florrie

EVERYTHING may not quite be equal in today’s world but it is easy to forget just how far we have come.

In 1963 Florence Frecknall became the first woman in the region to be voted into senior management at the Oddfellows Society.

It is only thanks to the steps taken by remarkable people like her that 50 years on, such achievements are now commonplace in Sheffield.

Nice one Florrie.