Jeanne Rathbone

Memorial seat to Jody Dobrowski

Posted in Jody Dobrowski memorial bench Clapham Common, Uncategorized by sheelanagigcomedienne on October 25, 2012

On my regular walk on Clapham Common I will now pass a memorial seat commemorating Jody Dobrowski which was unveiled on 14th October 2012. Jody was murdered on Clapham Common on 14th October 2005. He had worked at Jongleurs which was based in The Cornet Of Horse pub which has been renamed The Battersea Mess and Music Hall.Battersea Mess and Music Hall | 51 Lavender Gardens Battersea

This taken from this website:Jody Dobrowski (1981 – 2005) – Find A Grave Memorial

Jody Dobrowski was a 24-year old assistant bar manager who was murdered on Clapham Common in south London. Jody was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The tall, blond, good-looking Jody was funny, loved singing and dancing, hated any kind of confrontation and enjoyed the buzz of working in a really busy bar. He dropped out of  Cardiff University, where he was studying biology and he had arrived in London in 2001 to work at the Jongleurs comedy club in Clapham. That summer Jody was offered a job as assistant manager at the Camden Lock branch. He had been there only a few weeks when, on the night he was brutally killed, he had gone back to Clapham to see his old friends, leaving them at 10.30pm. Fewer than ten minutes’ walk away was Clapham Common.  He was punched and kicked so viciously that he died ten hours later in hospital.

This is from the local Guardian newspaper 23rd October 2012  Bench dedicated to murdered man (From Your Local Guardian)

A bench is being unveiled to commemorate a gay barman beaten to death in a homophobic attack.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday on Clapham Common where Jody Dobrowski, 24, was murdered in 2005.

The community has raised £1,000 to pay for the bench and a further £1,700 for the 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign.

David Dandridge, one of the fundraisers, said: “It was thought there should be a permanent memorial to Jody.

“What we wanted to do is raise awareness so people would actually contact police about hate crime.

“It is important to raise awareness that hate crime exists.”

Two men were jailed for life in 2006 after Mr Dobrowski was beaten in an attack so horrific that he could only be identified by his fingerprints.

PC Darren Sims, from Northcote Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Through helping make Jody’s bench happen both Lambeth and Wandsworth Police are renewing calls for anyone who is a victim to, or witnesses of, any kind of hate crime to report incidents to us, in confidence.”

Council Leader Steve Reed, who will join the service on Sunday, said: “Jody’s shocking and senseless murder seven years ago serves as a wakeup call for the whole community that all forms of hate crime are totally unacceptable.”

There were 1,306 reported homophobic crimes in 2005 in the UK and Mr Dobrowski’s murder was one of many attacks that occurred on the common that year.

His two assailants, Thomas Pickford and Scott Walker, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dobrowski at the Old Bailey criminal court on 12 May 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment on 16 June 2006 with a minimum of 28 years to be served. Both men had been involved in an attack against a gay man two weeks prior to the murder of Dobrowski. Walker had been out on licence due to threats against his mother but the licence had expired the day before the murder, however, it had not expired at the time of the previous homophobic assault.

This was a landmark case in Britain, where Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was utilised in sentencing the killers. This Act empowers courts to impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victim’s sexual orientation in England and Wales. The trial judge was His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC.

This report from the Stroud News and Journal in May 2007  is about the film CLAPHAM JUNCTIONwhich was inspired by the death of Jody.  News By James Davis

 Jody Dobrowski, whose homophobic murder has inspired a Channel Four drama. CHANNEL 4 is to screen a major one-off drama inspired by the homophobic murder of former Archway School pupil Jody Dobrowski.

Clapham Junction is the work of acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot and includes performances by former Eastenders actor Paul Nicholls and Samantha Bond, best-known as Miss Moneypenny in recent James Bond movies.

The commemorative bench to Jody is on a mound in the Battersea woods part of the common and there is a little wildflower bed below it.