IN MEMORY OF LLOYD FOURACRE – TENTH ANNIVERSARY

Ten years ago this September, the lives of the Fouracre family were changed forever. They received the news that every family dreads, their youngest son Lloyd, was mercilessly beaten to death. It happened the night before his 18th birthday. Lloyd’s death shocked the community but his brother Adam has tried to make sure that his death wasn’t in vain and has set up a charity – Stand Against Violence – aimed at preventing violence.

Adam has been speaking to Society reporter Danielle Morris about Lloyd’s death and the work of his charity.

Adam and Lloyd grew up in a loving family home with their parents Helen and Simon.

Lloyd was a typical 17- year-old, who was dedicated and loyal to his friends and family.

He was a member of the air cadets and was studying at Richard Huish College.

Adam adds: “Lloyd was very mature for his age, probably more so than I was and he was very respectful and was always there for his friends.

“He was a nice person and funny to be around.”

On September 25, Lloyd had been at a friend’s 18th birthday party.

He was walking home with a group of friends when they were attacked by a group.

Lloyd was hit over the head with a wooden sign, and beaten.

He was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital and was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.

Adam says when he heard that his brother was dead he thought it was a joke and was unable to take it in.

“I had a phone call at around 1am and I remember thinking it was my alarm going off for work,” he said.

“I heard my dad’s voice and I was really quite angry and short, I just kept thinking why are you ringing me so early.

“Then he was crying and I knew that something had happened.

“He said that Lloyd had been attacked and that he was dead.

“There were tears and then silence; I didn’t know what to say.”

Lloyd’s funeral was attended by hundreds of people, many had to stand outside because the crematorium chapel was packed.

But for Lloyd’s family, the funeral didn’t bring any closure too what had happened. They would still have to wait for the trial of Lloyd’s killers which happened in the summer following his death.

Adam recalls: “The first day was probably the worst as the prosecution gave a blow by blow account of what happened.

“It was so brutal.

“One of the defendants, Andrew Betty, just showed no remorse at all.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forgive any of them for what they’ve done, but I have accepted it, it’s all you can do.”

Andrew Betty and Jay Wall were convicted of murder after a four-week trial. Betty was given 13 years in prison and Wall 12.

Following the trial, Adam started a campaign for Lloyd in Taunton, aimed at getting more police on the streets.

He said: “We received over 26,000 signatures and took it to the Home Office and I met with one of the ministers but it was a waste of energy, they weren’t really interested in what I had to say.

“Then in 2006 I was asked to give a presentation about what had happened as part of the Anne Frank exhibition which came to Taunton.

“It reduced a room of 300 people to tears.”

The presentation was the birthplace of Lloyd’s legacy – Stand Against Violence, a charity which aims to teach young people about violence and preventing it.

Adam simply began giving presentations to school children about what had happened, before a film reenacting Lloyd’s death and a workshop out of the video were made.

“It’s the video which really hits the students and we’ve actually had an evaluation which has proved that our work is making a difference,” Adam said.

“The charity is continuing to grow and we now have dedicated teachers here in the South West, South Wales, the South East and in Staffordshire.

“It’s been a heck of a lot of effort but if we can stop it happening to just one more family then that’s great.”

But Adam is hoping that his work continues to go national, and aims to one day have workshops in all primary and secondary schools up and down the country.

He wants the charity to become a specialist one which can help influence policy.

Adam has given a speech at the World Health Organisation and has been advising the NHS on collecting data on violence.

He said: “We know that our work is making a difference and I want to go into the schools every year and teach everyone about what had happened.

“I was selected to work with O2 as part of their Think Big campaign which provided the charity with a lot of support and mentoring and I’ve felt so honoured to have the support of so many people this year especially as we try and take the charity forward.

“I feel like Lloyd would be quite proud of what I’ve done, it’s challenged me and taken me out of my comfort zone and I‘ve had some wonderful opportunities and experiences.

“It’s all about turning a negative into a positive and helping change people’s attitudes towards violent.

“I think Lloyd does live on through SAV but I would give it all up tomorrow if it meant we could have him back with us.”