The shocking news of the murder of in Norwich of good samaritan Frank McGarahan, the man killed on a night out because he intervened to stop a group of men assaulting a homeless man on the streets says much about our sick society.
The problem though for me is that this type of attack is not uncommon in Norwich, only the fact that this ended in a murder has made this more significant.
A son of a friend of mine was lefft for dead a few years ago after being kicked and punched by a group of youths outside a club. At the time the bouncers outside the club stood on and watched only shouting a warning to the attackers that "the police are here" when a police car turned up. Despite the number of winesses, the case presented by the police was flimsy, with it taking the mother of the victim to ask witnesses she knew to go to the police station and demand to make a statement. Then, when the new stronger case came to court, the CPS nearly loused the whole thing up by losing files and failing to tell witnesses properly that the case had been moved before finally allowing the attackers to plead guilty to a lesser charge and be effectively slappped on the wrist for the near murder they had committed.
The victim, who was beaten unconscious made a remarkable recovery, and this in part seemed to affect the seriousness with which both the CPS and police treated the case. He could have easily died, but that seemed to matter little.
The truth is that there are thugs out each and every week looking for fights and looking for an easy victim to beat black and blue, but the legal system and policing in this country seems completely disinterested until a murder happens.
Sadly people like Frank McGarahan pay the ultimate price for this.