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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 August, 2004, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Mothers want tougher knife laws
Jayne Walmsley
Jayne Walmsley wants tougher knife legislation
The mothers of two murdered Lincolnshire teenagers are demanding tougher punishments for people caught carrying knives.

The mother of schoolboy Luke Walmsley says the offenders should face the same sentences as those found with guns.

Jayne Walmsley's son Luke was stabbed to death at the Birkbeck School in North Somercotes by a fellow student.

She has started a campaign with Jackie Hadfield, whose 13-year-old daughter Sandy was stabbed in Lincoln.

'Evil bully'

Timothy Cuffy, 35, of Lincoln, who lured Sandy to a park and cut her throat with a Gurkha knife, was jailed for life in June 2003.

Luke, 14, was stabbed through the heart during a break in lessons last November by Alan Pennell, 16, of Grainthorpe.

He was described as "an evil bully" by Mrs Walmsley after the verdict.
Knives are instruments that can kill with a single stab, the same as a gun can with a bullet
Jackie Hadfield

Mrs Walmsley told the Lincolnshire Echo: "Knives can kill - they should be treated the same as guns."

The mothers' campaign is being backed by a national organisation - the Victims of Crime Trust.

Trust director Norman Brennan said: "Each year more people are murdered by knives than guns."

He said tougher sentencing for knife offenders should be a priority for the government when it returns after parliament's summer break.

Mrs Hadfield said: "Knives are instruments that can kill with a single stab, the same as a gun can with a bullet."

Home Secretary David Blunkett announced last month that he was examining whether carrying a knife should carry equivalent penalties to firearms offences.

Under current law possessing a firearm carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence, but offenders could be jailed for up to 10 years.

Anyone caught carrying a knife without good reason faces a maximum sentence of four years.

If the blade is less than three inches long the punishment could be as little as a 50 fine or a caution.

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27 Jul 04  |  Lincolnshire
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12 Jun 03  |  Lincolnshire

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