These shocking stories about people with a learning disability have been in the news:
- Francecca Hardwick and her mother, Fiona Pilkington, died in 2007 after Fiona set fire to their car in a Leicestershire lay-by. Despite repeated complaints to the police, the family had suffered years of abuse from a gang of up to 16 youths who reportedly threw stones, eggs and flour at the family home. Read more about the case in our news story.
- Steven Hoskin was forced to eat too many paracetamol tablets and was then forced to fall off a bridge to his death. Steven had been bullied and abused for months by the people who caused his death. It seems Steven's learning disability meant he did not understand that these people were not his friends, but hurting him.
- Kevin Davies had a learning disability. He was kept in a garden shed, was beaten and only given scraps of food to eat. His benefit money was stolen. Kevin was found dead in September 2006. Three people were sent to jail.
- Christine Lakinski collapsed outside her home. Her neighbour threw a bucket of water on her. When she did not wake up he urinated on her and covered her with shaving foam. He filmed this on his mobile phone while other people watched and laughed. Christine was dying and nobody helped her.
- Beverley's story.
Mencap thinks these were hate crimes. These people were victims because of their disability. But the courts did not prosecute them as hate crimes.
Do you think these were hate crimes? Have you heard of other stories like these? Please tell us what you think and leave your comments below.