[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 23:28 GMT 00:28 UK
The call every parent dreads

Paul and Jayne Walmsley
Paul and Jayne Walmsley want the government to act on knife crime

The parents of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley thought it was just an isolated incident when their son was stabbed at his school in Lincolnshire.

Now, as the first anniversary of his death approached, they have vowed to keep fighting until something is done about the growing knife culture amongst Britain's children.

Jayne Walmsley told the BBC's Panorama programme that she would fight for something positive to have come out of his death.

She told the programme: "My son isn't going to have died in vain for no reason. We're not going to let it drop. Someone will answer and something will be done because I just won't let it drop."

His father Paul Walmsley added: "If that was somebody who was in government who had it happen to their son, I bet you it would be all over the news every single day."

'It's serious'

There is a problem but obviously the people who are in the power to resolve this need to be made aware of that
Paul Walmsley

After he was stabbed by a fellow pupil at his school in Lincolnshire, , Luke's parents - like many others - thought this was just an isolated incident.

Paul said: "You know, you see things on TV before what happened to Luke and it shocks you for a day or a couple of days while it's on the news and in the paper, and you're physically upset about it, thinking how could somebody do such a thing.

"Then when it happens to you, you then open your eyes and you think God, this is happening everywhere, and you start to realise there is a problem but obviously the people who are in the power to resolve this need to be made aware of that."

Jayne Walmsley also spoke frankly about receiving the call that every parent dreads.

She said: "The phone call came that Luke had been stabbed and get to school as quickly as I could because it was serious."

Paul himself has one overriding memory of that day in November 2003 when he rushed to the school.


Luke Walmsley
Luke Walmsley was stabbed at school in Lincolnshire

He said: "I thought he doesn't do cookery, that's the only place I could think that there was a knife.

"As you're driving along you try to think of all the ifs and ands of what it might be, and then I roll up and there's police cars, ambulances, there's people running across the lawn at the front and all I can hear and remember is the sound of the helicopter."

14-year-old Luke, who had been stabbed through the heart during a break in lessons at Birkbeck College, was airlifted to Grimsby Hospital where doctors battled for hours to save his life.

Jayne said: "We were told that the air ambulance was going to rush him to Grimsby Hospital and he was in cardiac arrest and he had been for quite a while.

"When I said 'don't tell me he's going to die', he said 'I can't say that'. They did let us see him while they were working on him but it was just obvious to us. You know, he was dead, they were just keeping him alive.

"A few minutes after that the surgeon came in and said...you know...I'm afraid I couldn't help him."

Me and my family

My mum's great...I love my mum
Extracts from Luke Walmsley's English project

But as the Walmsley's tried to come to terms with the loss of their son in such horrific circumstances, they were comforted when they were given some of Luke's coursework from school.

Jayne said: "We were given these papers that Luke had written, only a few weeks before his death, for an English project.

"It was: "Me and My Family" and I'm just so pleased that they found them because the words in it were 'My mum goes to work and she likes meeting people', 'My mum's great' and 'I love my mum' and all things like that.

"He thought his dad was mad because he works really hard, 'My dad's crackers' and things like that.

"And as Luke's mum and dad you then look at that written word and think you know, I haven't done such a bad job."

Fellow schoolboy Alan Pennell, 15, of Grainthorpe, Lincs, was found guilty of Luke's murder and sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison.

Panorama: Your child's been stabbed will be broadcast at 22:15 BST on Sunday, October 17 on BBC One.

Paul and Jayne Walmsley
Bereaved parents say something must be done

Your child's been stabbed
12 Oct 04 |  Panorama
Parents ignorant of knife culture
15 Oct 04 |  Panorama
Knives: the teenage war zone
17 Oct 04 |  Panorama
Your comments
15 Oct 04 |  Panorama


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific