ROSS Parker was brutally murdered in Peterborough in 2001, 10 days after the terror attack that killed nearly 3,000 in New York, but there was another incident involving Islamic Extremists that year, right here in Britain.
Seeing 9/11 as a sight of Allah’s approval of a global Jihad, brainwashed youths – some who had walked the same school corridors as Ross Parker’s girlfriend – had banded together to execute an evil, religiously motivated plan.
His death was dubbed a ‘racially motivated attack’ by Police – but in reality, it could be seen as a Terror Attack on an innocent White British Man brushed under the carpet.
The roads were almost empty on that night in 2001, The paths illuminated only by the gloomy, sinister projections from neglected street lights. And in the city Centre, bar staff and glass collectors from The Solstice, a small club on the way to the main strip (today, completely absent of any bars or clubs), were clocking off early after what had been a relatively quiet night. Amongst the closely knit team were a young couple, Ross Parker, 19, and his girlfriend, Nicola Foot.
“Ross was cheeky, flirty, fun-loving, friendly, protective when necessary, caring and just an all-around great guy,” said Nicola Parker, Ross’ former Girlfriend.
“Ross was carrying my phone and purse because his pockets were bigger than mine, and also so that we could both hold hands as we walked.”
She then anxiously began – for the first time, and in vivid detail – to speak openly about what had happened, answering each question I delicately tossed at her, her words, the chilling firsthand account together acting as a time machine, taking me back to that night almost as though I were a silent third wheel, walking in the cold air beside her.
“He [Ross] wasn’t even supposed to be working that night” she told me, her saddened realization of the irony instantly evident on her face. “The manager had asked him if he minded coming in because they were short staffed, so he said yes. At the end of the night we finished cleaning up and stopped for one drink as usual. I was staying at my best friend’s house for a couple of weeks while her dad was on holiday and I asked him if he wanted to stay round too. Normally he would’ve biked to her house and I would’ve gone on the back of her moped. But Ross had his bike pinched the week before whilst doing a day shift in the kitchen.”
Nicola paused for a moment, evidently tormented by the many minor, yet abnormal factors that had led to them walking into harm’s way. She took a sip of coffee, wiped a small line of froth from her top lip and continued.
“Me and Ross left together. My friend had forgotten to bring a spare helmet so we decided to walk as she lived fairly close to town. As we crossed in front of the Academy (a local bar now called ‘Edwards’) there were taxis out front and I nearly suggested that we get in one. But as we’d only been paid the day before I decided I needed to save the twenty pounds I had left for the rest of the week.”
Chatting comfortably, Nicola and Ross strolled through the busy city streets and made their way to a long path on the outskirts of Millfield – a straight, grew path that straddles the main road, only disappearing from the sight of motorists where it slopes down into a dimly-lit underpass.
It should’ve been a simple brisk walk taking in the fresh air before a night of films, banter and teenage gossip. Within minutes that plan would change. Dramatically.
“At around 1:30am, as we walked past the underpass and rounded the bend, we saw a large group ahead of us.” Nicola told me.
With radical tensions at boiling point in Peterborough following the terrorist attacks in America, a group of local Muslim men with extreme views were also out that night.
Seeing 9/11 as a sight of Allah’s approval of a global Jihad, these brainwashed youths – some who had walked the same school corridors as me – had banded together to execute an evil, religiously motivated plan.
They would wait near an isolated underpass for the first white, non-Muslim they could find, and together, armed with fists, a knife and a hammer, they would make sure that he didn’t leave that underpass alive.
There they waited menacingly, beneath the pale, dusty glow of a flickering streetlamp, their darkly-clothed frames casting a foreboding row of shadows that finally met with the silhouette of Ross and Nicola strolling carefree up the path.
“It was pretty dark because the bushes on our left blocked most of the light from the road and one of the lampposts on the footpath was broken” Nicola told me, swallowing the lump in her throat. “They were wearing dark clothing and straight away started walking towards us. That’s when suddenly I heard one of them hiss ‘you better start running!’
“Ross told me to get on the cycle path, which I didn’t think we should do, but which we did anyway.
He squeezed my hand. And then they attacked.”
At this point Nicola’s eyes seemed to strain into the corner of the room.
“I was confused about what was happening. Scared. Frozen. And I didn’t want to let go of Ross’ hand.
One thing I can remember clearly was thinking that one of the attackers had a weird mouth.”
It wouldn’t be until the subsequent future court case that Nicola would find out that – amidst her shocked state – she was in fact staring wide-eyed at the balaclava-clad face of extremists.
“Suddenly, one of them sprayed Ross in the face with a can of CS gas. Another punched him in the stomach and he fell to the ground. It was at that point that he was torn away from my hand.
They started kicking him on the ground and then one of them turned to me. Something at that moment made me turn and run. I have no idea what it was. Everything just seemed to be going in slow motion and didn’t feel real. I also remember at that point hearing what I thought at the time was someone exclaiming ‘What, shit!’ But now I know that it was one of the attackers shouting ‘white shit’.”
Nicola raised the coffee cup once more to her lips and let out a deep sigh, so pensive and melancholy that the paper napkin in front of her fluttered atop the polished table.
“When I started running I saw some of the larger group running away too” she said. “My initial thought was to run to my friend’s house, but I didn’t know how far that was. Then suddenly I could hear someone running behind me. To this day I’ve never found out if they were chasing me or if they were running away too. I knew that the road was on my left, so I decided I had to go through the hedge. Luckily the hedge thinned out into a gap, so I just ran through without stopping to look for traffic.”
The soles of Nicola’s black knee-high boots clapped frantically against the road and onto the path opposite in search of help. In her brief absence, at least 4 attackers stayed behind to finish what they had started.
Lying helplessly on the stone cold ground, Ross Parker was brutally, degradingly and most horrifically murdered.
In what could only be described as a blood frenzy, the Muslim gang kicked Ross repeatedly as hard as they could, bruising his body all over before stabbing him 3 times from behind through the throat and chest with a foot-long hunting knife.
So hard were the blows, that on two occasions the blade penetrated his body from one side and came fully out of the other. Then finally, as the 17 year-old who had recently completed a GNVQ in business studies and was hoping to apply for a career in the police force upon his 18th birthday, lay dying in pain on the cold floor – his eyes still burning from the CS spray, his ribs battered, his throat gurgling his own blood, a member of the cowardly gang came forward with a panel beater’s hammer and under the shadow of the nearby mosque’s minarets, smashed in his skull and then fled the crime scene, their hearts racing with adrenaline.
Ross’ bloodied body lay there alone in the darkness. His only crime was that he was a white non-Muslim living in a white non-Muslim country.
Meanwhile, Nicola, who had heard some of his tortured screams from across the road, had managed to find help in an Esso garage near Toys R Us and a McDonald’s drive-thru.
“There were two guys filling up their car” she told me, her voice now nearing hyper-speed as she relived each second. “I ran up to them and told them someone was beating up my boyfriend. They dialed 999 and gave me their phone. While I was on the phone to the police I was asked if I would need and ambulance. I said no as the worst I believed that would happen would be a broken leg (Ross had a recent minor football injury) which we could sort out after we got them [the attackers] off of him.”
It was at that moment that a police car happened to be heading towards town to a separate minor incident.
“I flagged the driver (a policewoman) down and after she’d gone round the roundabout and stopped I quickly explained to her what had happened. We drove back up to the Toys R Us roundabout and back down the other side of the road. I told her to stop the car where the underpass runs under the road and we quickly get out of the car.”
The time between Nicola running from the scene and flagging down the police officer had been no more than 15 minutes. By the time she arrived back, however, the scene was far darker than she could have anticipated.
“As soon as we got back I started looking for Ross. I didn’t see anyone or anything else. The police woman must have seen the blood as she suddenly slowed down and tried to stop me from going over to him once I saw him”.
“He was laying in the middle of the path, his head on the footpath and his limp body on the cycle path. I ran over and felt his neck for a pulse, when I couldn’t find one, I leant over him to see if I could feel or hear him breathing. I couldn’t. I rested my hands on his chest and that’s the first point I noticed the blood. In the dark I could make out what looked like a couple of puncture marks on the right hand side of his neck, with a small line of blood. I could hear the police woman on her radio in the background telling someone what was going on. She asked for an ambulance to be sent and tried to get me to come away so we could wait for it by the road. I wanted to get my phone so I could ring Ross’ sister. Ross had been carrying my phone and purse for me in his jacket pockets, but as I reached to get them the amount of blood stopped me and the police woman pulled me away.”
“I felt completely numb. I wanted to help him but I had no idea how. I refused to wait by the road for the ambulance and stayed on the scene. The ambulance arrived fairly quickly. The first paramedic to check Ross called back to the second one that they needn’t rush as ‘this one is gone’. Immediately my heart jumped into my mouth and I felt dizzy.”
“More police arrived and a different officer was told to stay with me. I crouched down, shaking and staring at my blood covered hands”.
Nicola sat with Ross’ body in a state of shock and denial. She looked over to the ambulance and wondered why Ross hadn’t yet been rushed into it. She then began to accept that there was only one logical answer.
“After about ten minutes, I asked the policeman if he knew what was going on. He said that he didn’t. I turned to him and quietly said ‘he’s dead, isn’t he?’ I was then put into a police car to wait until somebody was able to take me to the police station. They needed to secure the scene first.
I was asked if I wanted my parents to be called and I said no. It still didn’t feel real and I genuinely believed that it wouldn’t be real if I didn’t tell them.”