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Last Updated: Monday, 13 December, 2004, 13:23 GMT
Victims' relatives tell of knife crime
The Victims of Crime Trust is calling for harsher punishments for knife crimes. Supporters of the campaign describe how stabbings have robbed them of family members and devastated their lives.

MICHAEL HEGARTY, BROTHER OF BERNARD HEGARTY

Bernard Hegarty
Bernard Hegarty died while shopping during his lunch break

Bernard was stabbed on his lunch break. He was going to the shops to buy some carpet for a new flat he was moving into.

To say total devastation wouldn't even come close to it.

We're going through it every day and every night. It's the first thing you think about when you wake up, the last thing you think about before you go to bed.

It's a mad world out there. Things do need to be addressed.

Sooner or later there's going to be another family going through what we're going through now and you've got to ask yourself how many more families are going to go through it before there is a change in the law.

NORMAN BRENNAN, DIRECTOR OF VICTIMS OF CRIME TRUST

Norman Brennan
Norman Brennan was stabbed while on duty as a policeman

My personal experience of knife crime was back in 1985.

I was out on [police] night duty as an emergency response driver. It was 3am, it was just a normal night.

As I drove through Chelsea, I saw a suspect running, being followed by uniformed officers.

I didn't know what he'd done but I knew that my colleagues wanted him, so I got out of the vehicle and I chased after him.

I overtook the suspect. As I arrested him he stabbed me in the chest with a 5in blade that deflected off a rib and went downwards.

Fortunately for me, it missed most of my vital organs.

The surgeon told my Chief Constable the next day that had it deflected the other way, I would have been dead.

PAUL WALMSLEY, FATHER OF STABBED SCHOOLBOY LUKE

Luke Walmsley
Luke Walmsley was stabbed in the heart at school

[Luke] was stabbed last summer at the Birkbeck school in North Somercotes, which is a real small school.

We thought we were doing the right thing by sending him to the Birkbeck school because of its small numbers - we thought he'd get a better education.

Then we got a telephone call one day to say there'd been an incident with a knife at his school. We thought it was something like an incident in cookery - not that he ever did cookery, but it was the only place we thought you could get a knife from.

We all dashed to the school and that's when the traumatic time started to reveal itself.

Since then it's been Hell for all of us.

It's about time people took notice of what they see and what they hear - that it is really happening to people, because believe you me, it hurts every single day and every single night.

ANTOINETTE RODNEY, MOTHER OF KIERAN RODNEY-DAVIS

Kieran Rodney-Davis
Kieran Rodney-Davis was stabbed for his phone

My son was killed in June. He was stabbed to death in Fulham for his phone.

Every day you open the paper and there is some kind of knife attack. It's getting worse and we've got to do something about it.

It's devastated my life, my family's life.

His friends don't want to go out because they think they're going to get stabbed, because my son got stabbed just for going out to the shop.

And he hasn't come back.

NASIM AKHTAR, MOTHER OF STABBING VICTIM

He was only 25 years old and he was knifed in east London.

My son died, so he was a victim of crime, but my family's a victim of crime all their life.

Our whole life is ruined for us, while the actual criminal gets away with it almost. A few years and then he's out. He's destroyed our life completely.

I think something should be done about tougher laws. I'm all for it - tougher laws and tougher actions.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Stab victims' families speak out at news conference



SEE ALSO:
Anniversary of schoolboy stabbing
04 Nov 04 |  Lincolnshire


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