Lancashire Police arrested five individuals in connection with the attack, but conducted extensive further investigations, as it appeared that up to fifteen people were in the area and may have witnessed or participated in the assault.
Sophie Lancaster (born 26 November 1986) was a former pupil at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School and Haslingden High School, and a gap year student planning to attend Accrington and Rossendale College to do an English degree.
Police said that it was "a sustained attack during the course of which the pair received serious head injuries and their faces were so swollen we could not ascertain which one was female and which one was male".
Both were hospitalised as a result of the attack, initially at Rochdale Infirmary.
Maltby's injuries left him in a coma and with internal bleeding.
He gradually recovered, but had lost memory of the time leading up to, and during, the attack.