Police arrest man in his 30s
after attack at Park View academy in Tottenham
that killed 14-year-old and injured two others
Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent
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Friday 21 January 2011.
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14-year-old boy has been stabbed to death near his school in Tottenham, north
London, this afternoon.
Local people said he was one of three boys attacked after finishing school at
Park View academy. All were around 14 years old and wearing school uniforms. The
Metropolitan police said they had arrested a man in his 30s.
Officers were called to West Green Road at 3.45pm along with the air ambulance.
The boy died at the scene at 4.30pm.
Both survivors are in hospital – one is believed to be in serious condition.
'He stabbed her in the chest 16 times
using two bread knives'
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of the Guardian on
Saturday 26 November 2011.
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on Saturday 26
after my 13th birthday, my dad killed my mum. He stabbed her in the chest 16
times using two bread knives. The murder was premeditated; he had brought the
knives to the house with him earlier that day, and after he was arrested he
confessed his intent.
That day I had come home ready to give my mum the fiver I had borrowed from her
the week before. I was met by police officers. They didn't say what was wrong.
My friend two doors down came over and I knew by his reaction that something
awful had happened.
The trigger for the murder was my dad hearing that my mum wanted a divorce. He
simply couldn't accept the marriage was over. As a committed Jehovah's Witness,
he believed the end of the world was nigh and only a few chosen people would be
saved and so, inexplicably, he thought he had to kill his wife to ensure only he
could have her in the new world. There was another motive: my mum had started to
date again and this filled him with deep jealousy. He felt if he couldn't have
her, then no one else would.
My childhood had been fine until that point. My father was a hard disciplinarian
but I never saw nastiness or violence.
My father's monstrous crime shattered my family. Six of us – ranging from 11 to
28 – were left behind. The hub of the family, our mum and dad, had imploded in
the most violent of circumstances. The wider family support network seemed to
evaporate and we were left alone and ashamed. The press splashed the story
across the front pages of our local paper, piling humiliation on top of grief.
Nothing about the family seemed normal any more – "get-togethers" felt odd and
contrived, weddings and birthdays seemed incomplete and tinged with sadness.
Some siblings sought refuge in religion or cults and some, like me, have been
plagued with recurring thoughts of suicide. Others preferred to live in denial
or blot out the past with drink or drugs.
In the immediate aftermath I moved between two of my brothers' homes. It was
difficult; they were too busy dealing with their own grief and pain to care for
a bereaved 13-year-old boy. Then I moved in with my brother's parents-in-law who
were very caring and looked after me until I left home. My life stabilised, I
coped. I went to college, got a job and became a father myself.
My family still finds it difficult to confront our grief. Even now conversations
about Mum or Dad are marked by awkward silences, as if we are the guilty ones in
some way. Trite phrases such as, "We should move on" pepper our conversations.
Perhaps the magnitude of the loss is too painful to dwell on, perhaps it is just
easier to forget.
There are times when the sense of a painful and profound loss consumes me. I
still miss my mum terribly. I wish she were back here and I could talk to her
again. I wish I could have protected her from my dad that day. And most of all I
wish she hadn't died in the way she did.
My father pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 12 years. In prison he
refused to co-operate with the rehabilitation process and once he had served his
tariff he was repeatedly denied parole because he would not address the
motivations of his crime, a condition for a lifer. He died in prison last year
after serving a total of 26 years, more than double his original sentence. From
what we can tell, he never confided to anyone inside that he had six children –
his closest confidant knew of only one. Maybe he was in denial or maybe he
didn't care. We'll never know.
After his death we obtained his prison files and personal effects. The files
revealed that outwardly he was never contrite about his crime. He appeared to
die stubborn and self-righteous. The files also contained my father's previously
unseen handwritten confessions to other, hidden crimes. The new information hit
our family all over again – the sexual abuse of his youngest daughter, repeated
rape of our mum and the attempted rape of a child in the next street. The
revelations have reopened old wounds and inflicted new ones.
I long to meet my dad again on adult terms and let him know face-to-face the
suffering he has caused. In these dreams, what I say makes him cry with regret,
sorrow and shame.
New sentencing policy will include
a 'two strikes and you're out' measure
covering serious sexual or violent crimes
Wednesday 26 October 2011
Alan Travis, home affairs editor
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on Wednesday 26 October 2011.
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minimum four-month prison sentence for 16- and 17-year-olds who are found guilty
of "aggravated" knife offences is to be introduced despite the open opposition
of the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke.
A new "two strikes and you're out" mandatory life sentence is also to be
introduced for anyone convicted of a second serious sexual or violent crime –
extending mandatory life sentences for the first time to cover crimes other than
The definition of the "most serious sexual or violent offences" that will be
covered by the new "two strikes" policy is to be extended to child sex offences,
terrorism categories and "causing or allowing the death of a child".
The surprise announcement of this new sentencing regime marks a return to a more
traditional "lock 'em up" approach to law and order by the coalition government
and deals a further body blow to Clarke's hopes of a more liberal penal policy
that would stabilise the prison population.
The package represents a major extension of the use of US-style minimum
mandatory sentences into the British legal system and comes after a fierce
Clarke is reported to have repeatedly clashed with the home secretary, Theresa
May, over this issue behind the scenes.
It is believed to have only been settled on Wednesday by the intervention of
David Cameron. Clarke appears to have won a concession that children under 16
will not be affected.
Clarke made clear his personal opposition to the use of mandatory sentences at a
hearing of the Commons home affairs committee only on Tuesday, indicating he
preferred to give judges unfettered discretion to set sentences based on the
facts of the cases for nearly all crimes but murder.
He also made clear his view that a minimum mandatory sentence for juveniles
under 18 was not part of the traditions of the British criminal justice system.
The sentencing regime announced on Wednesday night includes replacing the
much-criticised indeterminate sentence for public protection, which has left
6,500 prisoners without a set release date, with new fixed-term sentences.
Dangerous criminals will in future serve at least two-thirds of the new
The new sentencing regime detailed by the Ministry of Justice includes:
• A four-month mandatory custodial sentence for aggravated knife possession for
16- and 17-year-olds but not for younger children. Those convicted of using a
knife or offensive weapon to threaten and endanger will be given a four-month
detention and training order. Adults are to face an automatic six-month sentence
for the same offence.
• A "two strikes and you're out" mandatory life sentence for anyone convicted of
a second very serious sexual or violent offence, extending the life sentence
beyond murder for the first time.
• An extended determinate sentence [EDS] for dangerous criminals convicted of a
serious and violent sexual crimes, who will serve at least two-thirds, scrapping
the current consideration of parole at the halfway point. Release for those in
the most serious category serving this sentence will require the approval of the
parole board. Those paroled will be under recall licence for at least 10 years.
• An extended licence period: those who have served an EDS will have to serve a
further period on licence – an extra five years for sex offenders and eight
years for violent offenders – during which they can be recalled to prison if
The new sentencing regime is contained in amendments tabled on Wednesday night
to the legal aid, sentencing and punishment bill and is likely to increase the
already record 87,000 prison population in England and Wales.
It places a serious question mark over Clarke's hopes of stabilising the jail
The justice secretary said he expected more dangerous offenders to get life
sentences. "The new regime will restore clarity, coherence and common sense to
sentencing, rid us of the inconsistent and confusing IPP regime and give victims
a clearer understanding of how long offenders will actually serve in prison,
"We have already announced that we are bringing in an automatic prison sentence
for any adults who use a knife to threaten and endanger. Clearly any extension
of this sentence to children requires very careful consideration. However, we
need to send out a clear message about the seriousness of juvenile knife crime,
so we are proposing to extend a suitable equivalent sentence to 16-17 year olds,
but not to younger children." he said.
as report by former EastEnders actor Brooke Kinsella
more action to tackle the problem,
including anti-knife presentations in schools
Home affairs editor
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It was last modified at 11.24 GMT
on Wednesday 2 February 2011.
£18m extra is to be spent on tackling knife crime and gun and gang culture over
the next two years, the home secretary, Theresa May, announced today.
She said the funding was being made available "on the back of" a report into
knife crime, published today, by former EastEnders actor Brooke Kinsella, whose
brother, Ben, was stabbed to death at the age of 16 three years ago.
The report by Kinsella, who was appointed as an adviser on knife crime to the
home secretary last year, calls for anti-knife crime presentations in schools
and more preventative work to stop teenagers getting involved in knife and gun
crime and a scheme to tackle the "fear and fashion factor" of carrying knives.
"Brooke Kinsella has done a great job in highlighting what works and what could
work better in trying to achieve that," the home secretary said today.
"Off the back of Brooke's recommendations, we will invest money into changing
attitudes and behaviour, alongside being tough on those who persist in being
involved in senseless crimes."
At the London launch of her report today, Kinsella said: "People aren't shocked
any more by the stabbing of a child, and that is not right. There is no more
time for talk. I really believe the problem of knife crime has escalated in the
past few years, and the impact it has on communities and families is
She said local knife crime projects needed more stable funding so they could
plan ahead with fewer box-ticking regulations.
The former EastEnders actor said prevention was the keyword, and schools needed
to take the problem more seriously with children as young as 10 given anti-knife
crime awareness lessons in schools.
Kinsella said: "While seven may be deemed too young for some of the content I
experienced in the projects I visited, it seems to be the majority opinion that
education and awareness needs to start at primary school level, particularly in
the last year before they move up to secondary school and become more
susceptible to peer pressure and influence."
There were also "gaps" in the projects available, she said, and more work to
tackle knife-wielding girl gangs was also needed.
She was particularly impressed by a "Fear and Fashion project" run in London,
which used workshops and games led by young people with experience of knife
crime to get young people to explore and understand the reasons why they might
carry a weapon.
She also said the negative portrayal of young people in the media as if they
were all criminals meant it was also important to give them better things to
aspire to with an awards ceremony for young people.
May, announcing the details of the extra £18m, said that at a time of tight
budgets, some issues such as knife crime were too important not to fund.
The money includes £10m to prevent teenagers being sucked into knife and gun
gang culture, £4m for a "communities against gangs, guns and knives' fund", and
£3.75m for the worst-hit areas in London, Manchester and the West Midlands,
which account for more than half of all knife crimes.
A further £1m is to be spent on developing anti-knife crime materials for
schools and £250,000 will go for one further year to the Ben Kinsella fund set
up in memory of Brooke's brother to help teenagers set up anti-knife crime
He died in June 2008 after a fight in a bar spilled out onto the streets of
Islington. Kinsella began working on the knife crime project with the
Conservatives before the general election and spent July and August talking to
project workers and community leaders about the problem.
At the weekend, a teenager became the UK's latest victim of knife crime when he
was fatally stabbed in front of a stationary bus full of passengers in south
Daniel Thompson Graham, 18, was repeatedly knifed near East Dulwich railway
station in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The latest crime figures show the number of incidents involving knives fell by
6% to 29,288 over the last year but showed there were 202 fatal stabbings, the
same number as the year before.
December 29, 2008
From The Times
Fatal stabbings have reached a record level in England and Wales this year,
with five people a week being killed with a knife or sharp instrument, according
to figures published today.
The surge in fatalities comes despite a drive by the Government and police to
reduce attacks involving knives, particularly in large urban areas.
In London alone the number of knife fatalities this year has jumped to 86 - a
rise of one quarter on the figure for 2007.
Today’s figures from all except one of the police forces in England and Wales
show that fatal stabbings have risen by almost a third since Labour came to
James Brokenshire, a Conservative home affairs spokesman who received the
figures under freedom of information laws, said: “Knife crime is a scourge which
claims too many lives and ruins countless others.
“Yet under Labour it has soared. The Government’s only response is short-term,
ad hoc police operations, the results of which they spin and manipulate anyway
to try to get a good story.”
He added: “Combating knife crime requires concerted action in the long and short
term, not just spin. As well as deploying our police on to the streets as the
norm we would introduce an automatic presumption of jail for knife possession.
This may be harsh but it is absolutely necessary.”
Overall there have been 277 fatal stabbings in England and Wales so far this
year - equivalent to five a week - and an increase of 19 on the total figure for
last year. When Labour came to power, fatal stabbings were running at an average
rate of 3.8 a week.
Over the past year there have been increases in the number of stabbings in
London, Northumbria, West Yorkshire and Lancashire. In Northumbria and West
Yorkshire fatal stabbings rose by a half to 15 and in Lancashire they more than
trebled to 13.
In spite of the increases, as a proportion of all homicides, deaths caused by a
knife or other sharp instrument have remained broadly stable for the past 30
years. Thirty-three per cent of homicides in 1977 were a result of stabbing
compared with 35 per cent this year. The proportion peaked at 39 per cent in
Historically knife crime has been concentrated in certain parts of Britain. A
study published earlier this year based on death certificates in the 24 years to
2004 showed Glasgow along with central Manchester and Vauxhall, Southwark,
Bermondsey and Streatham in South London as the worst affected parts of the
In these areas people were at least four times more likely than the national
average to be stabbed to death.
As part of attempts to tackle knife crime, police are focusing on ten areas in
England and Wales where the problem is greatest. They are London, Essex,
Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester,
Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Thames Valley.
The action programme involves funding of £4.5 million to provide activities for
young people, more stop-and-search operations, and the increased use of
airport-style security arches and hand-held scanners that police can deploy in
hotspots including railway stations. The maximum penalty for possessing a knife
has doubled from two to four years in prison, and there is a presumption that
anyone caught with a knife will face prosecution in the courts rather than a
caution from police.
Next month offenders convicted of possessing a knife who are given a
noncustodial sentence face being ordered to carry out more intensive work in the
Under the scheme an unemployed offender who is ordered by a court to carry out
community punishments such as renovating community centres, cleaning graffiti or
clearing wasteland, will have to complete at least 18 hours in any one week. The
maximum amount of work they can do in a day is set at six hours.
Criminals will be expected to wear high-visibility orange jackets bearing the
words “community payback” when they are doing their work.
David Hanson, the Prisons Minister, says today: “They will now have to do at
least 18 hours of work a week, and potentially be subject to a curfew that keeps
them off the streets in the evening, and a probation appointment during the week
on top of these hours.
“This means a significant loss of liberty and free time for all those unemployed
knife offenders across the whole of England and Wales.”
The Ministry of Justice said that in June 318 offenders in England and Wales
were given community punishments for possessing an offensive weapon. It was
unable to give the figure for the whole year.
Among the victims
— Rob Knox, 18, actor, stabbed to death outside Metro bar in Sidcup, Kent, in
May. Man charged with murder
— Arsema Dawit, 15, Eritrean schoolgirl, died from multiple stab wounds at a
block of flats near Waterloo station in South London in June. Man charged with
— Shaquille Smith, 14, stabbed in the stomach while sitting on a bench near his
home in Hackney, East London, in June. He and his sister were allegedly involved
in an argument with a group of youths. Six teenagers charged with murder
— Muhammad Raja Shafiq, 50, stabbed to death in Burnley in March while trying to
protect his teenage son from a gang of young men. Bilal Bhatti, 21, a student,
given life sentence in September
— Paul Gilbert, a 22-year-old father, was chased through Newcastle upon Tyne
while on a night out and stabbed. His attackers, twins Philip and Mark Craggs,
were sentenced for murder and affray respectively
From The Times
Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent,
and Philip Webster
measures to tackle youth and knife crime will be announced next week after five
people were stabbed to death within a day.
Four men were killed in London within 16 hours of each other and another died in
West Bromwich. A sixth man is fighting for his life.
Downing Street suddenly released a statement from the Prime Minister promising
action after he had spoken to Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police
Commissioner, about yet another bloody day in the capital.
Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, is expected to confirm plans for new parenting
programmes in areas with the most problems, fresh powers for the police to
control gangs and shock warnings to youngsters about the dangers of knives.
A senior officer is likely to be put in charge of fighting knife crime. There
will also be measures to take children home if they are on the streets at night
and early intervention where they are at risk of drifting into crime. Ministers
will not match Conservative proposals for all youngsters caught carrying knives
to face imprisonment, which they say are impractical and would swiftly fill
One of those killed in London was aged 19, the 20th teenager to die violently in
the capital this year. Another was attacked in front of his girlfriend by a
hooded man in a Scream-style mask.
Elsewhere, a 20-year-old man was stabbed to death on Thursday night in West
Bromwich. Last night in Bolton, Greater Manchester, a 19-year-old man was in a
serious condition after being stabbed outside a video store. In Sheffield a
young man was shot dead in a suspected gang-related attack.
The Metropolitan Police said last week that combating the growing number of
stabbings was now their number one priority. Sir Ian said that his force was
doing everything to solve the latest cases. Nine people, including three women,
have been arrested over the five attacks in London.
The first victim, Gennar Jaronis, 41, from Latvia, was found dead early on
Thursday morning at the rear of a disused pub in Tottenham, North London, that
has been used as a squat.
The second man was killed at about 2.30pm after a fight in Edmonton, North
London. Witnesses said that police tried to revive the 19-year-old found with
stab wounds to his neck and head outside a suspected drug den. Three hours later
Adnan Patel, 20, was stabbed to death in Leyton, East London, during a fight
with a group of men. A witness said: “I looked out of my window and saw six
Indian adult men fighting. They were armed with a golf club, an aluminium
baseball bat, a wooden club and eventually I found out a kitchen knife.”
Yosufu Morrow, 20, was stabbed to death at 8.30pm in Walthamstow by a masked
knifeman. He was visiting his girlfriend in a block of flats and was attacked in
the stairwell. It is believed that the murderer was waiting for him. Detectives
want to speak to a man in his late teens or early twenties seen running from the
scene. He was wearing a hooded top and a white full-face mask from the movie
A fifth Londoner was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after
being found early yesterday in Willesden.
The Independent on Sunday
By Jonathan Owen
Knife violence in Britain is far worse than official statistics suggest, with
almost 14,000 people taken to hospital for injuries caused by knives and other
sharp weapons last year.
According to the latest Department of Health statistics, an average of 38
victims of knife wounds are admitted to accident and emergency departments
across the country every day.
An analysis of hospital admissions data for England and Wales by the IoS
revealed that assaults and injuries from knives and sharp implements, together
with sword and dagger injuries, resulted in 12,340 people being admitted last
year – 446 of whom were no older than 14. This is an increase of 19 per cent on
the 10,372 admissions five years ago. The latest figures from Northern Ireland
and Scotland bring the total number of victims in Britain to 13,795 each year.
Dr Tunji Lasoye, A&E consultant at King's College Hospital, London said: "In a
nutshell the numbers of stab victims coming into A&E have gone up. It used to be
that we would see isolated cases at weekends, but now it is nearly every day of
the week. And the age of the victims has gone down. We used to see people in
their early 20s; now they are in their mid-teens. And 10 per cent of the victims
we see now are girls, which wasn't the case four or five years ago."
The latest statistics from hospitals in England alone highlight an 88 per cent
jump in the number of children suffering stab wounds – from 95 in 2002-03 to 179
in 2006-07. And among 16- to 18-year-olds, there has been a 75 per cent rise
from 429 to 752.
New figures provided to the IoS under the Freedom of Information Act highlight
how the number of people being prosecuted by magistrates for possessing knives
has rocketed up from the 4,489 in 1997, the year Labour came to power. By 2006,
that figure had jumped to 7,699.
Most were not jailed, with just 14 per cent ending up in prison for little more
than three months on average. Suspended sentences leapt from nine in 1997 to 552
The revelations undermine claims by the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, last week
that knife crime "is not more serious than it has been previously".
Government assurances are based on results from the British Crime Survey, which
has recorded "knife-enabled crime" as remaining stable at between 5-8 per cent
of all violent crimes in the past decade.
But a report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College
appears to confirm the IoS findings, noting that knife crime "suffers from a
lack of research on the nature, extent, cause, motivation, frequency and
possible growth of knife carrying".
London remains the centre of what is increasingly viewed as a nationwide
epidemic. Fatal stabbings of teenagers in London total 14 since the start of the
year. In total, 18 have been murdered, compared with 27 for the whole of last
The capital accounted for more than a third of all under-16s taken to hospital
with stab wounds last year, and has seen numbers of teenagers needing treatment
rise from 139 in 2002-03 to 324 in 2006-07.
Hundreds of people were due to attend a rally held early this morning in
Islington, north London, where one of the most recent victims, 16-year-old Ben
Kinsella, was stabbed to death last Sunday. Yesterday it emerged that the
youngster had written a letter to Gordon Brown as part of his schoolwork,
warning that knife violence was becoming "part of our culture".
Detectives continue their investigation into the knife murder of 16-year-old
Shakilus Townsend in south London last Thursday.
In response to growing public concern about knife crime, the Association of
Chief Police Officers (Acpo) will issue new guidance tomorrow, calling on all
forces and crown prosecutors to charge anyone over 16 caught in illegal
possession of a knife. This will extend to under-16s already "known" to the
Acpo wants hospitals to notify police of all patients with stab wounds, in the
same way that they do with gunshot victims. The police now want to use hospital
records to identify knife-crime hotspots.
Campaigners calling for tough action were not impressed by the Met's
announcement on Friday that just 75 officers – a fraction of its 30,000 strength
– will run a new taskforce against knife crime across London's 32 boroughs.
Lynn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, said: "We
have to get tough. We've let our kids get away with murder for years and now
they are literally getting away with murder – or think they can."
is the 14th teenage victim this year
of the capital's gang and knife
as Met increases stop-and-search
The Independent on Sunday
By Andrew Johnson
An 18-year-old actor became this year's 14th teenage victim of London's knife
and gun street culture yesterday when he was stabbed in a brawl outside a bar in
Sidcup, just two weeks after 16-year-old Jimmy Mizen was knifed to death outside
a bakery in nearby Lee.
Four other young men were treated for stab wounds after a fight broke out in
Sidcup shortly after midnight. A 16-year-old was stabbed in the chest; a
21-year-old is in hospital after being stabbed in the neck; and another youth
was treated for a hand wound. Police said a 21-year-old man had been arrested.
The man who died was named yesterday as Rob Knox. He is understood to have had a
minor role in the next Harry Potter film. A statement from Warner Bros released
yesterday said: "We are all shocked and saddened by this news ... our sympathies
are with his family."
An internal Scotland Yard report obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveals
that, while violent crime is generally falling in London, the murder rate for
victims aged 20 and under "has more than doubled in the past three years". It
adds: "The 11- to 20-year-old age group has also nearly doubled in gang [and]
public order type violence."
As if to underline the point, a boy of 17 was fighting for his life last night
after being shot in Archway, north London, in an incident being investigated by
Scotland Yard's Trident squad.
On Thursday, London's Metropolitan Police Authority will hear grim details of
research into life on some of the city's streets for young people. The report
highlights fear among teens who say they are scared to travel on public
transport, to leave their own "endz" or postcode areas, and that dinner-money
theft is so common it is hardly reported. Of children interviewed who said they
had been victims of crime, just 47 per cent said they had reported it to police,
indicating that actual crime could be twice as bad as official figures. It adds
that despite this, young people are suspicious of stop-and-search powers, which
the Met is stepping up to try to combat knife crime.
The sentiments were echoed by the Children's Commissioner for England yesterday.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green said: "There is a balance here: on the one hand for young
people to feel safer by police [presence], but on the other making sure new
powers don't create further antagonism by increased stopping and searching."
Alf Hitchcock, Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Met, said the force was
working on community initiatives and tougher policing to clamp down on knife
culture. Measures include sending police to schools to talk to pupils, an
anonymous texting service to report crime, to begin next month, and a nationwide
"one strike and you're out" policy.
"If you are caught with a knife and there is an aggravating factor, such as you
are in school, you will go to court," he said. "It's a long-term effort," he
said, adding that no single measure would solve the problem, which involves
social deprivation, parenting and criminality.