Appallingly Adrian (known to his family as Ade) was killed on the night of 19th May 2006; he was just 21 years old. Adrian had been strangled by a man that he had formally complained about previously for raping and bullying him. The police failed to properly investigate the rape allegation and despite the evidence before them no one was arrested or questioned over threats made to Adrian. The police were criticised by the IPCC for the failures that took place.
Throughout his short life Adrian and despite his difficulties, showed an amazing amount of courage. He was an immensely loyal person and tried to live life to the full. Always very polite, always full of jokes and laughter, always friendly and smiling. He would wave vigorously to anyone he knew and had a jaw jutting toothy grin and cheeky smile; quite often you would end up laughing with him at anything.
Ade would never do anything out of greed or spitefulness. He was kind and generous. Always keen to do anything for anyone, even though this sometimes got him into trouble at school.
Adrian could not see danger, always wanting to be everyone’s friend regardless of what they said or did to him. Trust was one of his finest characteristics.
Ade loved his music and had quite a wide ranging taste. If he heard a song he really liked he would play it endlessly, over and over again, driving everyone else to distraction, unless we secretly liked it of course.
As a youngster, Adrian had all the Thomas the Tank Engine videos, and just like his music, he used to play them endlessly. He could recite them off by heart and if they were shown on the TV as soon as the first word was spoken he instantly knew which episode it was.
Adrian took a lot of enjoyment from slapstick comedy and this we are sure ended up giving him his great sense of humour and fun. He loved Norman Wisdom in particular and laughed endlessly at his gaffs.
Family soaps became another firm favourite of his, EastEnders and Coronation Street in particular, never purposely missing an episode.
He had a great memory for directions, never forgetting the way to anywhere he went. He could always take you back somewhere even if it had been months since the last time he’d been there.
Adrian loved his gadgets, his computer, mobile phone, and playstation. He had a great natural ability with these or any other gadgets he came across.
Ade loved animals and being outside. He loved farming and excelled at this. This became his passion when he took up his placement at Ruskin Mill College where the focus was outdoor work and practical activity, suited to his needs.
Never a morning person but when routine dictated, he would always get up when needed and was never late for anything. Like many people with Asperger’s Syndrome, Adrian thrived on routine. With everything that happened to him, Adrian was always happy and never sad for long. He was always the sort of person who was able to get up from a disappointment and dust himself off and start again.
Being angry or vindictive just wasn’t Adrian. He was always forgiving and found it easy to forgive those that did wrong by him. He left his mark on people in so many ways. However, early in 2005 Adrian seemed to be troubled by something. After a year of what must have been an immense internal struggle for him he finally disclosed in January 2006 that a man, known to him, had raped him.
The West Mercia Police carried out a bungled investigation and the CPS dropped the case in March citing Adrian’s mental state as one of the reasons for their decision. Social services also failed to offer appropriate levels of support at this time.
Despite the Police dropping the case, Adrian immediately started receiving death threats on his mobile phone in the form of voice mails and text messages. Again the authorities failed to follow up and support him. Just two short months after the rape case was dropped by CPS, the man Adrian reported for the rape killed him and dumped his body in an alleyway in Tenbury Wells.
Adrian has been tragically taken from us in a way that leaves his family and friends angry, sad and totally devastated. It remains the darkest day in their lives. Made worse that the authorities failed to help and protect the vulnerable young man; vulnerable but utterly charming. His family received a letter from Bill Wiggin MP in full support of Adrian which arrived the very day he was killed.
Many of the problems Adrian faced in the community were from a few individuals and the lack of support from those placed in a position of authority could have been so easily avoided.
We are determined that people learn lessons from what happened to Adrian and have set up Aid for Asperger’s with the aim of supporting people into employment and meaningful activity thereby improving quality of life.