Redbridge victims’ mums slam knife policy

THE MUMS of two teenagers killed by knives have reacted with anger at the justice secretary’s plans to abandon a pre-election pledge that anyone carrying a knife will go to prison.

Ken Clarke said last week that he would not bring in new legislation that those who carry knives will receive automatic prison sentences.

Kashif Mahmood, 16, was stabbed in Winston Way, Ilford in 2005. His mother Parvin Mahmood, of Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes, said: “I saw that on the TV and it just really upset me. They just get a smack on the hand and what sort of message are they sending out to these youngsters? It’s like saying ‘you are supposed to get five years for carrying a knife but really do what you like’.

“All I can say is that it’s so cruel but Kenneth Clarke needs to lose someone close or a loved one to see if changes are needed. MPs and judges are just outsiders really, they can do what they like.

“It’s been five years since my son passed away and the pain is still there. I don’t wish it on anybody.”

Julie Maddison, the mother of 14–year-old Jack Large who was murdered in Limes Avenue, Chigwell, in 2007 said: “The government say one thing and they mean another. “If it was publicised on the news that if you carry a knife you get five years in jail, people would stop carrying them.

“If they say you won’t go to prison then people will obviously continue to carry knives because there are a lot of gangs out there.”

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Anti-knife crime campaigner Danny O’Brien, of Cameron Road, Seven Kings, said: “It’s just a slap in the face to families who’ve suffered. I know of many cases where someone gets stabbed and the excuse given is that ‘I was just holding the knife’. We’ve had enough stabbings in this area.”

He said his group, Anti-Knife UK, will be demonstrating agains the change of policy in the New Year.

Some of its members are joining a national protest outside the Ministry of Justice at noon on Friday.