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Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 10:20 GMT
Son's death 'must not be in vain'
Paul Walmsley
Paul Walmsley wants a minimum sentence imposed
The father of stabbed schoolboy Luke Walmsley hopes his push for increased penalties for carrying knives will mean that his son did not die in vain.

Teenager Luke was stabbed to death in Lincolnshire in November 2003.

His father Paul will present a petition to Downing Street asking for a minimum five-year sentence for knife carrying.

"If there's some form of serious deterrent I'm sure it will get a lot of the weapons off the street or out of people's pockets," he said.

"You'll never stamp it out completely, but obviously it's going to help."

We just feel we have to do something for him
Paul Walmsley
Father of stabbed schoolboy

His son was fatally stabbed at the Birkbeck School, North Somercotes.

"We've lost a son who enjoyed life so much and enjoyed everything in life," Mr Walmsley told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He described Luke as popular with friends his own age and adults.

"He knew exactly what he wanted to do... he was very outgoing, very outspoken and we just feel we have to do something for him - that he's not going to have died in vain."

Alan Pennell, 16, has been detained for life for Luke's murder, with a recommendation he serves at least 12 years.

Campaigning for stronger penalties for people who carry knives, Mr Walmsley said: "I don't think fines or cautions do any good.

Luke Walmsley
Luke Walmsley died from a knife wound to the heart
"I don't think it hurts people enough by paying money, but if they were to serve some form of term in youth custody or in a prison, I'm sure it will make people think twice."

He said simply raising the age that people can purchase knives from 16 to 18, a move being considered by the home secretary, "would not be enough".

While large shops such as supermarkets would be suspicious of a person who bought only a knife, other specialist knife shops "just want the sale", he said.


SEE ALSO:
Anniversary of schoolboy stabbing
04 Nov 04 |  Lincolnshire
Schools 'need weapons searches'
15 Apr 04 |  Education


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