Mums’ plea to halt the knife crime epidemic bloodshed
Three mums stand shoulder to shoulder, hands clenched and united by a tragic, unbreakable bond.
Each has seen the life of a son ended prematurely – stabbed in a knife crime epidemic haunting Britain.
They mourn their boys every day and pray other parents will be spared their grief.
And they call for zero tolerance knife crime laws – which could have saved their sons.
On Friday they came face to face with a former knifeman in a bid to understand what drives children to kill fellow children.
The mums – Tracey Hanson, Amy Morgan and Peguy Kato – wept and grasped for answers as they met reformed gang member Gavin McKenna.
And he backed their call for zero tolerance towards anyone caught carrying a knife.
Wiping one another’s tears, the devastated mothers insisted: “All our kids would still be here if the law was different.”
They spoke out after a week of horror in which five people – including three teens – were killed in knife attacks on the streets of London. Grim figures reveal UK knife crime is at a seven-year high.
Mum-of-nine Amy, 42, relives her son Tyler’s killing every day when she drives past the spot where he was knifed.
She said: “It’s close to my kid’s school so I have to constantly revisit the place he died It’s ruined me.”
Tyler Thompson, 16, died in a fight in Leicester in 2015. His brother saw the attack.
Pravadit Sian, 19, was jailed for nine years for manslaughter. He had been let off with a caution for carrying a knife 14 months earlier.
Amy added: “My son’s killer got just nine years. And he’ll be out in four and a half. We live in fear. Someone who has killed your son should never come out in your lifetime.
“It’s even more difficult that he was let off for carrying a knife. We need a zero tolerance approach. How many kids have to die? Anyone caught with a weapon should be sent to prison.”
Amy admitted one of her own sons had carried a knife – taken from her kitchen drawer – for protection after Tyler was killed.
She added, sadly: “His attitude is ‘no one is going to get me like they got my brother’.”
Amy, Tracey and Peguy came together after the Ministry of Justice revealed there had been 249 fatal stabbings across Britain this year – more than 2015 and 2016 combined.
Peguy, 42, has been left feeling “robotic” by the pain of losing her son.
Dramatic moment man ‘waving samurai sword’ stopped by armed police who Taser him
Champion Ganda, 17, was knifed 11 times outside a primary school in Romford, East London, in 2013.
Peguy said: “We live because we have to. When they take your son’s life away, they also take yours.
“That person you give life to is gone just like that because someone has decided to take them from you in a split second decision.
“The pain will never go away. He was my Champion.”
The teenager – who had trained with Arsenal’s youth team – died after his lungs were pierced in a fight involving five youths.
His wounds were so deep the knife chipped the bone. The killer, self-confessed gangster Amani Lynch, was 17 at the time and had also been caught with a knife just months before the attack. He was jailed for 14 years for manslaughter.
Third mum Tracey suffers from PTSD and had to quit her beauty therapist job after son Josh, 21, had his throat cut in an unprovoked attack.
She said: “My son was killed in a bar. No one should be allowed to enter a club without being searched for knives.”
Couple return from trip to find monkey dust addict living in their house
Josh bled to death on a nightclub floor after being attacked by a stranger in 2015.
Desperate for answers, Tracey, 54, from Kingsbury, North West London, said: “I think every day about catching his murderer. Our family hasn’t been able to grieve yet as we haven’t got justice.
“Why did he do it? Why did he take my beautiful boy from us? I’m so angry.
"I still have the M&S chocolate cake me and my son shared a week before he died.
"Three years on and I can’t bear to throw it out of the fridge.
"His bedroom is still exactly the same and I haven’t even changed his sheets. I can’t bring myself to touch anything. The room still smells of him.”
As the mums shared their pain, former London gang member Gavin spoke about his past – and his efforts to stop others going down the same path.
His first brush with knife crime came at 12 when he held a blade to a boy’s throat.
Now 29, he said: “These kids are in a warzone. And where they live is a battlefield.
"They don’t have to leave their country to go and fight a war. They are dying on our streets.”
Gavin recalls being stopped five times a week by police.
But he added: “They never did anything when they searched me.
“I’ve been stabbed and shot at. I carried a gun at just 16. It was fear that motivated me. You’d rather stab than be stabbed.”
He turned his life around after a friend died at the age of 21 – knifed and then hanged.
Now Gavin has dedicated himself to working with young people caught up in gang culture.
He added: “We need to share the raw reality with kids carrying knives. It’s like a disease. It started years ago.
"We had an epidemic in 2008. But the Government just left it and it got slowly worse and now it’s got so bad they don’t know what to do about it.
“These mums are the unheard. They’ve been through the most and heard the least. People need to start listening to them,”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has unveiled details of a new drive to stop youngsters being exploited by gangs. And he proposes to beef up stop and search powers.
Four in 10 criminals caught more than once with a knife are spared prison. New figures show nearly 5,000 repeat offenders avoided jail despite a “two strikes and you’re out” rule.
The three mums begged for “out of touch” politicians to listen to them, adding: “We just want to sleep at night.”
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article