Soon approaches the anniversary of my cousins birthday; we should’ve been celebrating her 21st; a time of laughter, health and happiness, instead we reluctantly wake each day to face the daunting awareness and harsh reality to the ever nearing anniversary of the day she was brutally killed.
July 22nd 2003, a day that will haunt and remain in our lives forever, the day we receive the devastating news that Hanane’s body had been recovered within the city of Liverpool. It had been suspected that local Psychiatric patient Mark Corner had been charged on the grounds of Murder. Only then it revealed that the monster as my family now refer to him as had hired her as a prostitute and took the life from her but did not take her mind and soul.
For many years Hanane suffered at the hands of bullies at school, who taunted her due to the colour of her skin, though she was only half cast, she tragically looked past the beauty that others saw and would blame herself by saying she was dirty and the black sheep of the family. Bulling destroyed her self esteem and broke her heart. She began finding it easier to cope with by stopping crying altogether, putting barriers up, nothing can hurt you if you don’t hurt at all. She was confused, muddled up, mistook people for friends, joining gangs, peer pressure, then suddenly the innocents vanished; torment had lead her to the road of destruction, drug abuse, drugs that were dealt to her on the streets of Broughton. Before long she found herself quickly falling down an extremely dangerous and inevitable lifestyle. Eventually heroin took over, capturing her body and destroying her mind, and this is why she ended up where she was, not because she wanted to be, but because she had no choice. Hanane confided in me many a time, educating and deterring me away from this lifestyle, advising me to not get involved, always be strong and never end up like her. I’m sure if you know an addict of any kind you will understand the way I feel, all the times had to sit there and watch someone I love hurt so much, feel so vulnerable and alone and there was nothing I could do I was completely powerless to help.
My auntie was extremely let down, by people who thought they had the power to help, by taking her to hostels instead of providing my auntie with support and information to deal with Hanane and her problems at home where she belonged, where she was loved and cherished.
It was said at the trial that two people out of hundreds and thousands to be killed was not bad statically for the sake of rehabilitating so many people with mental illnesses. It was not only Hanane and Pauline who had suffered at the hands of Mark Corner but all there family and friends and many vulnerable people who lives they touched, struggling to live with this in justice an example of this Hanane young sister loves to read hired books from the local library shortly after hearing the news of her sister. One evening on the beach with her mum and friends she recited a verse from one of the poems.
A stranger called this morning
He did not leave his name
He left us only silence
Life will never be the same.
No truer words are there to our plight, the stranger being Roy the police man the bearer of bad news, his name missed on the day due to all the sadness, but never to be forgotten for all his kindness and compassion shown to my auntie Diane every day since, he came a stranger but now has become a strong support of who my auntie turns to when in need. Not to forget the other people supporting and working along side him they have treated Hanane and her memory with the dignity she deserves “like a princess” A this I truly thank for them from the bottom of my heart.