Thursday, 3 April 2008

Grim Days

It has been a very grim couple of days in Arbroath.

On Tuesday morning two young girls were playing on the beach at Arbroath when they opened up a black bag they found lying about. Inside this was a Lidl shopping bag, and inside that was a severed human female head. Two severed hands were later found. You can read the story here.

The two kids were understandably shocked, horrified and traumatised by their find. I was interviewed on TV and expressed the shock of the community at news of this incident, sadness for the woman who lost her life and concern for the welfare of the two young girls who had made the grim discovery.

Next morning I got a very kind email from the Mum of the girls thanking me for what I had said, but also asking for help in dealing with what seemed to be quite aggressive media interest in her and her family.

I was glad to help in my small way. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons in all of this has come from the Mum herself who, despite being by no means wealthy, has consistently declined offers of money, holidays and gifts from the media, who quickly tracked her down and started to push business cards with financial offers for her story through her letterbox. Not only has she declined to take any money, amidst a very traumatic time for her and family, she still managed to express regret at the fate of the dead woman, and condolences for the womans family.

We have had to move her out of her house.

I was tempted to not post at all on this subject, but I think that amid all of the dreadful circumstances of this story, the mother of these children should be commended for her stance and her dignified behaviour.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

I thought of you when I saw this story on the news. It's good to know the children and their family are being supported. BG x

Bill said...

the mother of these children should be commended for her stance and her dignified behaviour.

I wasn't aware of this deveopment before I read your blog. Shocking. I agree with what you wrote.

1st Lady said...

Absolutely sickening what happened and who discovered the head. Those poor girls. I read the beach was reopened, I wouldn't let me kids anywhere near it right now! I dont know how they can be 100% sure nothing else will wash up. Ugh.

HuntereR said...

i heard today that they are holding a couple of men for this. A foreign woman killed by two foreign men (lithuanian I think). Still, a horrible act. My question is, where's the rest of the poor woman.

Jim said...

Thanks BG, the family are doing better now. The Mum texted me last night after reading my blog (it always really surprises me that anyone reads this) and thanked me for my positive post. The social work team who have been supporting her since the incident have been really good.

Jim said...

Bill, I have a fair amount of contact with the media through my work, but I have to say that the behaviour of what was a very small minority of those covering the story really put me on the back foot.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

1st L, it seems your concerns may justified as tests are being done on some "matter" washed up on Carnoustie beach (about six miles from Arbroath). This may make sense as I think the tides run north to south here.

Hunterer, Angus has a huge population of migrant workers who come over to pick berries etc as well as those who work in other sectors such as the service industries. They are invariably polite and well turned out people. Many of them come back year after year to work on the same farm during their university breaks.

This has been a particularly brutal episode though, with the press saying they found a "bloody scene" at her flat.