Sophie Lancaster's murderer attacked nurse
- 18 September 2013
- From the section Lancashire
One of the killers of a woman murdered because of her goth appearance has had his life sentence extended by four months after attacking a nurse.
Sophie Lancaster, 20, was killed in a Lancashire park in August 2007 by Brendan Harris and Ryan Herbert, with repeated stamps and kicks to her head.
Harris, now 21, was transferred to a psychiatric hospital after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
He broke the nose of a male nurse with a single "substantial" blow.
The staff at Guild Lodge near Preston, had been attempting to restrain him during an incident in January.
Harris had claimed he acted in self-defence but a jury at Preston Crown Court convicted him of committing grievous bodily harm at an earlier hearing.
The court heard on Wednesday Harris had been told he could not go back to his room because another patient was being restrained next door after a disturbance.
Harris took exception to that "modest request" and went on to verbally abuse a member of staff and make repeated threats to kill him.
When staff went to restrain Harris too, he hit the nurse in the face.
His barrister argued it would be wrong to impose a consecutive sentence but Judge Christopher Cornwall said the court had a duty to send a message to other long-serving prisoners "who may think they have very little to lose if they behave badly".
The further four months will be added to the minimum 18 years he must serve, imposed in April 2008, before he can be considered for parole.
Judge Christopher Cornwall said: "It is important for you to understand that staff at Guild Lodge exercise the very greatest patience and restraint and are wholly conscious of the difficulties you suffer from but you cannot be permitted to use considerable unlawful violence against them and expect it to have no consequences."
Miss Lancaster was attacked as she cradled her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, in Stubylee Park in Bacup after he had been kicked unconsciousness by Harris, Ryan Herbert and three other teenagers.
Gap-year student Miss Lancaster died in hospital 13 days later.
Sentencing Harris and Herbert to life terms, the Recorder of Preston Judge Anthony Russell QC said they had both acted with "feral thuggery".