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Reclaiming streets in Diane's memory.

Byline: Jonathan Caswell

MERSEYSIDE women will reclaim the streets tonight in memory of the shocking murder of a Wirral florist 16 years ago.

Members of Birkenhead's Rape and SexualAbuse centre are leading a march through the town to the Diane Sindall memorial to raise awareness of night-time female street safety.

Diane, of Tranmere, was the victim of one of the most horrific murders Merseyside has ever known.

She was battered to death and sexually assualted by Peter Sullivan in August 1986 sendings hock waves throughout the region and gripping every woman with terror.

The 21-year-old was brutally murdered as she went in search of a 24 hour garage when her car ran out of petrol on the way home from work.

Diane ran a flower shop in Seacombebut had taken evening bar work to raiseextracashfor her forthcoming wedding.

Following the trial,Wirral women started an annual night-time march through Birkenhead to help people regain confidence on the streets.

But alack of funding and volunteers saw the yearly crusadefadeaway. Now, on International Women's Day, members of the RASA ``safe house'' centre have pledged to reclaim the streets again every year on the sameday.

Marchorganiser Kay Kay said: ``We are really pleased to be able to reinstate this march. It first started after the murder of Diane Sindall,but funding and volunteer problems stopped it. ``But now we have the money and the people again to do this.''

The women will be joined by actors from Brookside and Hollyoaks as well as Wirral's Mayor, Coun Patricia Williams.

Kay said: ``The march symbolises women being able to walk in their areas at night free from fear.

``We should be able to go out when we need or want to without worry of rape and murder.

``Very little has changed in the 16 or so years since Diane was killed.

``These issues have not gone away and hopefully this march will bring it to everyone's attention again.

``There may be more police around on the streets these days, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are safer for women and our statistics back this up.''

Their latest data reveals that from April 2001-March 2002 they had 3,820 calls on the help line and conducted 7 33 face-to-face interviews, nearly 200 more than the previous year.

The ``Reclaim the Night'' march starts at 6pm outside Birkenhead Town Hall,Hamilton Square, will go through central Birkenhead and finish at the Diane Sindall Memorial on Borough Road.

For more details call 0151-650 0155. RASAhelpline is 0151-666 1392,MonFri, 7-9pm, Wed 2-5pm, Sun, 3-5pm. There is also a 24-hour answer service.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2003
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