Sarah's World

Album: Song for Sarah (2002)

Songfacts®:

  • Running to 4 minutes 50 seconds, this song was commissioned from East Grinstead songwriter Mark Scott by Sara Payne and her husband, Michael.

    On July 1, 2000, their eight year old daughter Sarah disappeared from a cornfield near the home of her paternal grandparents. The young girl literally vanished off the face of the Earth in what was initially a missing person inquiry. In a relatively small country like Britain, incidents such as this often lead to massive media coverage. That coverage increased exponentially when a body was found some twelve miles away on July 17. The following day, the police confirmed this body was indeed the missing eight year old, and the missing person investigation had become a murder case.

    The day after Sarah's disappearance, Sussex Police questioned Roy Whiting in a routine inquiry. In 1995, Whiting had been sentenced to four years' imprisonment for abducting and sexually assaulting a young girl, but he was not initially a prime suspect in what was then still only a missing person investigation, albeit of a young girl. However, after Sarah's body was found, the police built a compelling case against Whiting, and in December the following year he was convicted of abducting and murdering the eight year old on fairly strong evidence. Although Whiting had maintained his innocence throughout, he did not appeal, and in June 2004 he admitted the murder when he testified against a fellow inmate who had slashed his face in Wakefield Prison to make a name for himself.
  • The murder of Sarah Payne by a convicted paedophile led to a campaign to introduce Sarah's Law, based on Megan's Law imported from the United States, and which requires disclosure of the antecedents of convicted paedophiles to certain parties under certain circumstances. The driving force behind the campaign was Sara Payne, whose good intentions are not to be doubted, but as often happens, the solution to a problem creates further problems. In January 2011, three members of one family were gaoled at Liverpool Crown Court after extorting money from a man who had been convicted of indecently assaulting young boys in 1983, but had put his past behind him. After he ran out of money, the gang tried to frame him for child sexual abuse, and it was this that led to their campaign of hate and blackmail being uncovered.
  • Of the song itself, in an interview with Sky News, the composer, a family friend of the Paynes who co-wrote the Cher hit "Believe", said it was "a fantastic chance to really get involved in something so real... I had to dig deep in every... area of my mind." He added it took him nearly three months to write, but nothing was more important than the futures of our children. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

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