RIP Harry Baker
Well, I had planned to burst onto the blog scene in a blaze of glory.
Giving it large, as always, as I flamboyantly re-launched my infamous Sue’s View, plus assorted tales of life, laughs, and sometime love, in beautiful Barrybados.
Except…I can’t stop thinking about Harry Baker.
The seventeen year old’s body being found so tragically in our Dock’s area last week is almost constantly on my mind.
I don’t know whether it’s because of the similarities with my boy – he’s called Harry, he’s about the same age, and if you squint a bit it could almost be my son in that much shared photograph on social media.
Or if it is just the senseless and totally needless death of a young lad with his whole future ahead of him.
And it’s a future that has been snatched away cruelly and viciously – whatever the back story.
For Harry’ parents there will be no first job, first car, first child, or any other meaningful milestones. They’ll never again be able to kiss him goodnight, spoil him with a new pair of trainers, nag him over undone chores, shout at him when he’s playing up, or have a rant when the tunes are too loud. All the things we all do with our kids…and take totally and utterly for granted – I know I do.
Of course, I don’t even for one second pretend to know how those parents are feeling – it is incomprehensible. And if I have been constantly thinking about this without being involved in any way at all, then imagine what pain they are going through. It must be almost unbearable.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the rumours, all the gossip, all the Chinese Whispers and I’m making no comment on that. I don’t care who says what to who and when. I just care deeply that a seventeen year old boy has lost his life.
And that, to date, there are eight people who have been charged with his murder. Eight, for Christ’s Sake…what the Hell is that all about!
I know all about sub judice, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and the law as it stands – of course I do. I am also totally aware that the families of those, questioned, arrested, and/or charged are caught up in this too.
But it’s Harry who is utmost in my mind and my empathy and sympathy is solely with his Mum, Dad, little brother and wider family.
And I hope that those charged with the murder, if they are guilty, have the decency to admit it to spare putting an already devastated family through a heartbreaking trial.
How he died must be on some sort of cruel loop in their minds – and to have to relive that in the public glare would be unimaginable.
Absolute love and respect to them for coping the way they have. If it was my son, who I will be holding extra tightly this week whether he likes it or not, I would be out of control.
Make no mistake this was a murder that shocked me to the core, and it’s brutal aftermath almost made me ashamed of our town.
I say almost, as I know we have so many kind hearts here showing love and support to the family, in whatever way they can…you know who you are.
Fair play to South Wales Police too for acting so swiftly and competently, making quick arrests in those very crucial early days of an investigation.
Now, I just hope and pray that we soon see Justice done.
Rest In Peace Harry.
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist.
She blogs about all things Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, queer and quirky, local girl done good.