The parents of heroin victim Rachel Whitear have condemned the British National Party for using a picture of her corpse in a campaign blaming Muslims for the drugs trade. Police are investigating whether the party can be prosecuted for inciting hatred in what 21-year-old Rachel’s mother and stepfather call an “insulting and offensive” leaflet.
After her death in 2000 they authorised the release of a harrowing photograph of her corpse slumped on the floor with a syringe in her hand for anti-drugs campaigns in schools. But they were disgusted to find that it features in BNP leaflets under the headline: “The heroin trade, a crime against humanity – time for Muslims to apologise.”
“I was truly horrified when I saw what they’d done with it,” said Rachel’s mother, Pauline Holcroft, 58 at her home in Ledbury, Herefordshire. “Even if one of the main political parties had asked us if they could use it in a campaign I think we would have to say No. For the BNP to use it without even seeking our permission is an insult to my daughter’s memory.”