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Dear Jo: Readers' letters.

Cruel thugs let off

I WAS incredibly moved by The Mirror's recent series of articles with Doreen Lawrence.

I, too, know what it's like to have a son attacked and see the thugs responsible walk free.

When my Daniel was just eight, he was viciously beaten up in a park by a gang and left blinded. The attack three years ago also gave him a rare illness called Behcets, which causes debilitating arthritis.

As with Stephen Lawrence's murderers, the three responsible were known. There were 30 witnesses. But a string of mistakes resulted in justice not being done.

There was no police line-up and the judge ruled that this made the case unsafe to put before a jury. Photographs of the men were "lost" in a computer.

I have felt the same fears as Doreen - of reprisals for daring to take the assailants to court. Many of our young witnesses were harassed.

But she is wrong when she says white parents don't have to worry about their children being attacked.

Nothing can bring Stephen back, just as nothing can return my son's sight. We have to go forward, however hard it is.

The Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards taught me that when I met young women such as Helen Smith, Donna Marie and the wonderful Helen Rollason. They had everything to be bitter about but did not have a scrap of it. I hope Doreen will find the peace she deserves. She's been through enough.

Sylvie Gallimore, address supplied

THOUSANDS of people are being exploited at work, losing their homes, getting deeper into debt and missing out on money that is rightfully theirs.

And it's simply because they do not know where to go for advice on their rights - which is the Citizen's Advice Bureau. That's why we are running our first Advice Week this week and want people to know about the free, expert, independent help that is available.

We have a network of 700 Citizen's Advice Bureau around the country.

Last week, we reached our 60th birthday and have dealt with 165 million problems of every kind in that time.

People can reach the brink of disaster without realising we can help, especially in matters of debt.

We have proven success in saving homes, tackling complex debts and persuading creditors to agree reasonable terms.

We also give advice on housing benefit, care problems and discrimination and problems at work.

David Harker, chief executive,

Citizen's Advice Bureau, Pentonville Road, Central London

Speak out on Ireland

MY son Tim Parry was killed by the IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, along with Johnathan Ball.

As a victim of the Troubles, I believe all victims should be heard as part of the peace process and have put together a programme of conferences.

If you or your family are among those who have lost a loved one, you may wish to attend a weekend conference in early November.

You will be given a chance, perhaps for the first time, to talk to fellow sufferers.

The hope is that we can come together to speak on many issues with one voice to the politicians.

If you are interested, please write to the address below.

Colin Parry, c/o Town Hall, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1UH

Labour hits OAPs again

PUTTING away bucket and spade, we rapidly approach the political conference season and eagerly prepare for the winter pantomime of the party conferences.

Who will have the courage to stand up and explain why the Government and local authorities are cheating and misleading older people who use social and community services?

Why has the Government chosen to punish those pensioners with savings and income just above the entitlement to benefits?

Come and protest with the annual Pensions Day rally at Trafalgar Square on September 18.

Ian Pettit Bedford Association of Senior Citizens

WHAT a rattlesnake William Hague is for his attack on Mo Mowlam. She has given her all for peace in Northern Ireland.

No one can ever deny this so I hope the Irish and British people will back her.

K King, Euston N LondonIF people don't want lifestyles to change, why play the Lottery? I am 70 this month and do the Lottery in the hope I can help my family and support animal charities. So wish me luck!

Paula Carter, Havant, Hants

OUR grandson Michael has a very special birthday this year.

He'll be nine on 9/9/99. I wonder how many other children share this unique day.

Margaret Lilley Canterbury, Kent


I'M sick of the stories about Alan Shearer, saying he is not fit to be captain of England.

Before Euro 96 everybody wrote him off, yet he finished as top scorer in the tournament. And he hit a hat-trick for England on Saturday.

I know he's not the player of two years ago, but he's suffered bad injuries.

He doesn't need publicity now - he needs people to support him.

Joanne Bruce,

Isleworth, Middlesex


PEOPLE say I look like David Beckham and when I went on holiday to Florida this year I got hassled for autographs when I was shopping. I'm 19 and work as a trainee electrician but now know a little about being a superstar!

Scott Ramsey, Sale, Cheshire

Grandson loves to do a flavour

..pounds 25 Letter Of The Day

I WAS out shopping this week with my eight-year-old grandson when we saw a homeless person sitting in the subway.

My grandson said: "Please Nanny can I give him some money?" so I said yes and he did so.

We walked a little further on and he stopped, looked back and said: "Just a minute, Nanny."

He ran back and gave the man his bag of crisps that he had in his hand and said: "I hope you like the flavour.

"That is all I have."

I thought it was wonderful coming from a child.

It really touched me.

J Pitchford, Telford, Shropshire
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Dipple, Jo
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 6, 1999
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