The Viney Agency

HELEN NEWLOVE

William Philpott

Helen Newlove was born in 1961 in Lancashire, the second daughter of working-class, Roman Catholic parents. She grew up in the close community of Irlam, Manchester, a place which respected the values of hard work and good neighbourliness. When she was 20, she met Garry Newlove at a local disco. They married in June 1986 and had three daughters. On August 10th 2007 Garry was brutally beaten by a gang of youths outside the family home in Warrington. He died two days later. It was an act of violence that shocked the nation, and would have a profound impact on the lives of Helen and their children. Her book will be the story of a family shattered by the most terrible event, and how good came out of evil.

When Helen Newlove left school at 16 and got a job in a fish and chip shop she could never have imagined that one day she would take her seat in the House of Lords among some of the most powerful and influential people in the country. Today Helen is Baroness Newlove of Warrington; a tireless campaigner against anti-social behaviour and for the rights of victims and witnesses. She is the UK Government's Champion for Active and Safer Communities. She has been placed with a special interest in tackling underage drinking and related anti social behaviour working with The Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles, co-chairs the All Parliamentary Group on Victims and Witnesses and is Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships

She is not afraid to speak out on behalf of those who, like her, have suffered from the impact of violent crime. She has toured the country, researching material for her Parliamentary report on Safe and Active Communities and listening to those at grass-roots level who tackle anti-social behaviour and stand up for their neighbourhoods. Prime Minister David Cameron says she is a 'remarkable person who brings a special brand of passion, determination and common sense to public life'. Helen's journey is a truly remarkable one. After the ordeal of a ten-week trial and the murder conviction of three youths many victims would have chosen to hide themselves away in grief. Not Helen Newlove. After the conviction  at Chester Crown Court she held a press conference where she gave a speech which attracted national media attention, propelling her into the role of a campaigner for victims' rights and against the lawlessness and yobbery that blights so many of our towns and cities. She instituted the NewloveWarrington appeal, which aimed to remember Garry Newlove as more than a murder statistic by providing facilities for local young people. A black-tie fund-raising night featuring comedian Peter Kay and singer Rick Astley raised £64,000 that helped to set up a radio station, among other projects.

In 2010 she was elevated to the peerage, but remains the same down-to-earth, no-nonsense, friendly person who listens to others and gives them a voice in Parliament.

'People still come up to me in the street for a hug and a kind word,’ she says. ‘It's what strengthens my back when I'm bone-tired with the endless fights with bureaucracy or people who don't 'get' me and what I'm trying to do.  When I yearn to be with my family on an ordinary night watching the telly instead of giving speeches or poring over policy papers. It is for those people, and the ones who write terrible heartbreaking stories of how their lives are a living hell, that I carry on. They have put their faith in me to speak and act for them, and I won't let them down.'

Her battle for justice continues as changes to Joint Enterprise are on the horizon. Her book It Could Happen to You is a record for her future grandchildren of the grandfather they will never know. But it is also about coming up from the black pit of despair and meeting challenges that might have looked impossible only a few months previously. Helen Newlove’s inspiring story is not one of politics and committees; it is about real people and the impact that crime and anti-social behaviour has on us all. Most of all it is about a remarkable journey that, in many ways, has only just begun.

LATEST BOOK: IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU

William PhilpottWhen Helen was 20, she met Garry Newlove at a local disco. They married in 1986 and had three daughters. On 10 August 2007, Garry was brutally beaten by a gang of youths outside the family home in Warrington. He died two days later. It was an act of violence that shocked the nation and would have a profound impact on the lives of Helen and her children.

After the ordeal of a ten-week trial and the murder conviction of three youths, Helen held a press conference, giving a speech that attracted national media attention and propelled her into the role of a campaigner for victims’ rights and against the lawlessness that blights so many of our towns and cities.

In 2010, Helen was appointed a seat in the House of Lords among some of the most powerful and influential people in the country. Today, she is Baroness Newlove of Warrington, a tireless campaigner against antisocial behaviour and for the rights of victims and witnesses.

In this engaging memoir, Helen recounts how her family was shattered by Garry’s murder and how good unexpectedly came out of evil. Her remarkable story is not one of politics and committees; it is about real people and the impact that crime has on us all.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: It Could Happen To You, Mainstream, 2014.

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