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Saturday, 1 February, 2003, 14:11 GMT
Mothers march for dead sons
Janice Collins and Lucy Cope
Janice Collins, left, led the march for her dead son
Mothers of shooting victims have marched through Nottingham to call for an end to gun crime.

The march was led by Janice Collins, the mother of teenager Brendon Lawrence who was shot dead in the street last year.

She said: "My lad, 16 years of age and shot dead. It has got to stop."

Hundreds of families and friends of shooting victims from around the country joined the march, organised by Mothers Against Gun Crime.

Brendon Lawrence
Brendon Lawrence was shot in the street
"The government has got to listen to the parents of children who have been shot down by guns.

"They have got to hear what the mothers are saying. We have lost our children - the politicians haven't lost theirs," said Mrs Collins.

Brendon was on his way to visit his father when he was shot dead in St Ann's. His killers are still at large.

Mother's Against Gun Crime wants a ban on all imitation handguns, tougher sentences for carrying guns and for using guns.

'Stop the killing'

Lucy Cope, whose son Damian was shot in London last July, helped set up the march and a similar march in south London in November last year.

"We want to show the government that we aren't going to go away.

Grieving sister
Kay Fray
Three men entered my brother's home and shot him dead in front of his wife

Kay Fray, sister of gun victim Paul
"We are going to be the voice of the people and we won't stop until we are heard."

Bereaved families from cities such as Birmingham and Manchester joined in the chants of "stop the killing" as they walked through the centre of Nottingham.

Patsy McKie, whose son Dorrie was killed in August, 1999, in Manchester, said: "We are standing together.

"Although we are from different places and different ethnic backgrounds we all want change in our communities."

The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, has called gun crime a blight on society which the government is determined to tackle head on.

But recent proposals for minimum sentences for offenders were criticised after it emerged that five-year minimum sentences would not be imposed in all cases.

Gleen Reid, who son Corey was shot dead in Birmingham two years ago, said: "We have got to do something about it or it is going to keep escalating like it is at the moment."


Click here to go to Nottingham

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01 Feb 03 | England
28 Jan 03 | England
17 Dec 02 | England
19 Sep 02 | England
20 Aug 02 | England
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