This is our civilised society: A senseless murder with a senseless motive (24 October 2011)

What awful place is it that we live in where a community is shattered not just by the death of a beloved local boy but his brutal murder?

Cumnock, East Ayrshire, is a town of approximately 13,000 people.  The town has a history which tells of  Robert Burns visiting often and that apparently William Wallace spent three months there.  It housed miners and was the local market town.

This weekend Cumnock hit the news headlines after the body of 28-year old Stuart Walker was found by the side of the road at about 5.40am on Saturday morning.  

Horrifically, initial reports said that he had been tied to a post but local police say that this is not the case.  His body, however, is said to be burned and to have sustained some very horrific injuries.  He was pronounced dead at the scene and now Strathclyde Police have begun a murder inquiry.
So why was Stuart attacked and killed? No one really seems to know.  By all accounts he was much loved and tributes to him speak of the world being an emptier place and Cumnock not being the place it was without him.  So, this much loved boy – why was he killed?

There is some speculation that Stuart’s sexuality is the motive behind this senseless murder.  Police won’t confirm that but it keeps rising back to the surface.  If it’s true then it makes and already senseless killing even more so.  How, in this day and age, can someone be killed for their sexuality here in the United Kingdom?

It’s not illegal here in the UK for one man to love another, or indeed one woman to love another.  It doesn’t carry jail sentences, death sentences.  You shouldn’t lose your job because you’re gay and you can shop, eat, drink and travel around the country and be gay without reprisal.  That is the theory anyway, that’s how it SHOULD be.

Yet it’s not, is it? Homophobia is still, sadly, rife in the UK.  It needs to be stamped out.  It has no place in a supposedly civilised, western society and until we stamp it out here we have no right condemning other countries for their practices.  Being gay is legal here and yet still people suffer.
Whatever the motive behind the murder of Stuart Walker let’s not forget that the vibrant life of a young, 28-year old man, has been wasted senselessly and Ayr Police are currently investigating.  If you can help then contact them on 01294 664000 or through the usual Crime Stoppers number 0800 555 111