Gavin Hopely was a nineteen year old white English boy who was beaten to death by a Muslim gang in Oldham in the early hours of February 9th 2002. To this day, no one has been charged with his murder.
The song is “Nineteen Years” by Lee Haggan & Friends. Available on the album “Let’s Make A Stand”, Great White Records 2005.
10 years without justice.
Police fear new riots as white youth dies after fight
by KEITH BEABEY, Mail on Sunday
Extra police were on standby this weekend amid fears of race riots after a white teenager died following an alleged attack by a group of Asians.
The reinforcements were drafted into the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, scene of bitter race riots between gangs of white and Asian youths last summer. Police also fear that the National Front could march on the town following the incident.
The moves follow the death of Gavin Hopley, who was attacked after he mistakenly wandered into the town’s Glodwick area – a hotbed of racial tension in the town.
Gavin, 19, who worked for a local shopping centre security firm, was with two friends trying to find a taxi to take them home in the early hours of last Saturday when the attack happened.
They were suddenly surrounded by at least a dozen Asian youths, some armed with lumps of wood and heavy clubs. After a scuffle, Gavin was left unconscious in the road. His friends escaped, one of them leaping a garden fence before being rescued from his tormentors by Good Samaritan Mohammed Umar and his family.
Gavin was found by a passer-by and taken to the intensive care unit of North Manchester General Hospital. He was on the critical list for a week, but failed to regain consciousness. He died late on Friday night.
The teenager lived with his parents in Whitworth, a small town about seven miles north of where he was attacked. At his home yesterday, his family was too distraught to talk of what happened.
But a police spokesman said: ‘The racial aspect is an open question at the moment. Clearly, it is one of the strands of the investigation, but we can’t nail that down at the moment.’
After the attack, three Asian men, Pongki Miah, 38, Suleiman Hussain, 34, of Landseer Street, Glodwick, and Ruhel Miah, 21, of Frederick Street, Oldham, were charged with grievous bodily harm.
But after the teenager’s death, police were yesterday questioning the men further. A police spokesman said: ‘We are now investigating a murder.’
Earlier, another Asian youth, 18-year-old Zallal Udin, of Glodwick, appeared before local magistrates charged with stealing a watch and chain belonging to Gavin. And a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in the same court accused of violent disorder. Both were remanded in custody and are due back in court on Wednesday.
Two other un-named men, one a 29-year-old and the other aged 20, also from Glodwick, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder.
Police are appealing to local people to keep calm.
‘We hope they will let the police deal with this,’ said a senior officer. ‘It would seem Mr Hopley and his friends had enjoyed a night out when they got involved in a dispute with a gang of Asians. We don’t know what sparked the attack.’
However, tension was mounting in the town yesterday, where shopkeepers were preparing to board up their stores.
One local resident said: ‘They claim there is not a no-go area in this town. But if you put a foot in the wrong street, you could easily end up like young Gavin.’
Gavin Hopley died in hospital six days after the attack
A teenager died after he was chased, kicked and punched by a gang of men in a “very frightening and completely unjustified attack”, a court in Manchester has heard.
Gavin Hopley, 19, of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, died in February last year – a week after being attacked in the Glodwick area of Oldham.
Two men, Abdul Hafiz, 30, and Suleiman Hussain Mohammed, 35, both of Glodwick, went on trial on Monday charged with being a part of the gang which chased him and two youths.
A third man, Zallal Uddin, 19, also of Glodwick, appeared at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court charged with stealing a watch and necklace from Mr Hopley as he lay unconscious in the street.
The court was told how Mr Hopley had spent the night of Friday 8 February 2002, at Scruples nightclub in Oldham.
He had left in the early hours of the following morning and joined two youths in looking for either a taxi or a lift back to Rochdale, where all three lived.
After walking into the Glodwick area of the town, they approached a number of cars asking for a lift, including a Honda Civic.
Tim Holroyde QC, prosecuting, said: “All of a sudden the three young men began to run and they were chased by a group of Asians.”
‘Intent on violence’
That group included the four men in the Honda Civic as well as both Mr Hafiz and Mr Mohammed.
“Everyone involved in that chase was intent on violence against the three young white men running away,” said Mr Holroyde.
He added: “We say it is perfectly clear that all three of them were the victims of a very frightening and completely unjustified attack in which they were heavily outnumbered.”
One of the youths escaped and the other suffered minor injuries.
But Mr Hopley at some point fell to the ground. He was then kicked and punched and had some of his possessions stolen.
He was found a short time later, sprawled unconscious in the street.
Uddin earlier pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods but denies theft. Mr Hafiz and Mr Hussein deny violent disorder.
Five other men – Mohammed Pongki Miah, Ruhel Miah, Foulmiah Mohammed, Habib Rahman, and Nizzam Uddin, all from Glodwick – pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to violent disorder.
The case against a sixth man, Mohammed Zabair, collapsed after the prosecution offered no evidence.
The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday.
Jury clear youth of Hopley murder December 19, 2003 Share Article | Printable Version Next AN Oldham man has been cleared of murdering a teenager after persuading the jury that he was working in an Asian takeaway on the night of the attack. Mohsin Raza (pictured), aged 20 of Brewerton Road – the last suspect to stand trial over the killing of 19-year-old Gavin Hopley – was acquitted of murder after claiming he was working at the Royal Balti Takeaway in Dukinfield and then went straight home to bed. Security guard Gavin, from Rmochdale, was chased and beaten up by a gang of Asian men after he got lost during a night out in Oldham. He was hit in the face with a flying kick delivered by a man who used a fence post as support. The impact threw the teenager into the air and he cracked his head on the pavement leaving him with fatal head injuries. Police also discovered Gavin had been robbed of his watch and chain as he lay dying on the ground. Last may five Asian men aged between 18 and 39 all from Glodwick admitted violent disorder and were given jail terms ranging from nine to 15 months. A sixth man admitted theft and was jailed for 21 months. Initially police charged eight men including Raza with murder but the charges against them were withdrawn before they came to trial. Raza, was later re-charged in March 2003 and after two of the suspects agreed to make statements implicating him. Mohammed Zubair, aged 23, later testified against Raza after charges against him of murder, rioting in Oldham and unrelated offence of rape were dropped. The other witness Foulmiah Mohammed, 21, was also originally charged with Hopley’s murder but was later jailed for nine months for violent disorder. The court heard that Gavin and two friends had been set upon by a gang of Asian youths after they strayed into the Glodwick area looking for a taxi. The three fled and were split up. Later Zubair claimed Raza appeared from behind Gavin, grabbed a fence post in his left hand for support and kicked Gavin on the left side of his face with his right foot. Zubair claimed Raza then pulled his hood up and ran away. Raza denied murder and in a prepared statement handed to police said he had been working on the night of the attack. At the end of the trial the jury took just one hour to clear Raza. After the verdict Gavin Hopley’s parents Gary and Lorraine said they felt let down by the justice system.