Page last updated at 07:33 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 08:33 UK

Kinsellas in knife sentence plea


George and Deborah Kinsella discuss the sentences given to their son's killers

The parents of murdered 16-year-old Ben Kinsella have called for stronger penalties for knife crime.

Ben was stabbed as he fled a fight in Islington, north London, in June 2008.

Michael Alleyne, 18, Juress Kika, 19, and Jade Braithwaite, 20, all from London, were all given life terms with a minimum 19-year tariff last week.

George and Deborah Kinsella said the government should review sentencing guidelines to enable judges to hand down stiffer sentences.

Knife crime sentencing has become too complacent. We are talking too much and not acting

Deborah Kinsella

The Old Bailey heard that Ben, the brother of EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, was stabbed 11 times after Braithwaite claimed he had been "disrespected".

Mr Kinsella told BBC Breakfast: "If you murder someone with a gun, the starting tariff is 30 years. But if you do it with a knife, it's 15 years.

"What's the difference?

"These are the things that need to be addressed by the government and changes made in the law."

'Completely devastated'

Mrs Kinsella told BBC Breakfast: "Knife crime sentencing has become too complacent. We are talking too much and not acting."

She described the seven-week murder trial as "harrowing".

Mrs Kinsella, who along with her husband has set up a foundation in Ben's name to provide youth facilities in north London, said: "As parents we know we did everything right.

"We constantly checked where Ben was.

"This particular night he changed his mind, as a last-minute decision to go to the bar. He was going to meet his sister.

"We don't sleep at night. We have all been completely devastated.

"But we will get through it for Ben."

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