Friday, 22 August 2008

Anger over Selfridges stab t-shirt

A top department store has been blasted for selling a T-shirt showing a bloody stab wound with a flick knife sticking out of it.

The designer shirt, which the store has now been forced to remove from the shelves, makes youngsters wearing it look like they have been stabbed in the heart.

Selfridges in London's Oxford Street put the £30 shirt on sale just days after a man died from a single stab wound to the heart on the world famous shopping strip.

Janina Rout, 47, was with a friend buying for her teenage son when she came across the shirt, promoting the LA punk band the Red Hearts.

Janina, a mother of one from Brighton, said: "The shirt was among clothes aimed at young men around the age currently being killed in knife attacks.

"I can't understand why Selfridges would sell such a design at the moment. It simply shouldn't have been there - maybe in a tattoo parlour but not in Selfridges. It's in very poor taste.

"It's not the sort of message they should be putting across at the moment when knife crime is such a problem.

"Even more shocking was that a lad was stabbed to death on Oxford street a few weeks before."

Janina complained to a member of staff who refused her request to remove the Tshirts from sale.

She later called the store before receiving a letter from the company apologising.

A Crimestoppers spokesman, said: "This is fashion at its most reckless. We are amazed that a quality store like Selfridges could be so naive with its buying."

The shirt went on sale soon after Steven Bigby, 22, died during a row outside McDonald's on Oxford Street.

A man was stabbed and died in a flat in a quiet suburban street yesterday.

A groom told yesterday how he and his best man narrowly escaped death after being stabbed during his wedding reception by a gatecrasher.

Joe Pattenden Hunt, 27, said the man, armed with a six-inch steak knife, appeared high on drink and drugs and lashed out as he defended pal Jason Holt.

Jason, 35, bore the brunt of the attack, suffering wounds to his neck, chin, chest, back and stomach. But Joe will also be scarred for life after being slashed on an arm as bride Laura, 27, and 80 guests watched in horror. He said: "I felt like I was going to faint and I could see I was losing a lot of blood. I was very frightened."

Jason added: "I didn't really notice any pain but just felt wet and sticky with the blood running all over my body. It was terrifying."

Laura cradled Joe, who she married in the Scilly Isles last month, before he was rushed to hospital.

She recalled: "I screamed as I thought he and Jason were dying. Joe asked me if it was raining - until he realised his shoes were filling with blood."

The knifeman "went berserk" after he and four other men in their 20s stumbled at 11.30pm into Saturday's fireworks celebrations at Joe's parents' house in Crowborough, East Sussex.

He struck out swearing as landscape gardener Joe, of Wadhurst, and Jason, of Mayfield, wrestled him to the grass.

And Joe now fears knife crime is spreading from inner cities. He said: "I've always felt fortunate to live in the countryside. But this proves violent people are everywhere now."

Matthew Gould, 23, of Crowborough, was yesterday remanded in custody to appear at Lewes crown court in October charged with wounding.

Knifed to death in a quiet road

A man was stabbed and died in a flat in a quiet suburban street yesterday.

The victim, thought to be in his 40s, was found with multiple wounds at home in Streatham, South London.

Neighbours said they heard a woman screaming before police were called.

One said: "It's a shock to hear there's been a murder because this is a quiet road."

At an unrelated stabbing in nearby Croydon a man of 40 suffered knife wounds. Police said there had been no arrests in either case.

Bradford stab victim named

A man killed in a stabbing in Bradford on Friday was named last night as Rashid Elahi, 21. Three men, two held in West London, were being quizzed on suspicion of murder.

Shamed: the police forces that only caution knife thugs

Police forces are letting knife-carrying thugs off with just cautions, a Sunday Mirror investigation has revealed.

Our shocking findings come despite new Government guidelines which say everyone over 16 caught roaming the streets with a blade should be hauled before a court.

We obtained figures from 19 forces across England that show what action they took against people caught carrying knives from March to June this year - and found massive differences.

As our chart on the right shows, in Wiltshire just 15 per cent of those found with knives were charged.

But a crackdown on knife crime in Cheshire means 94 per cent of the thugs were sent to court.

And in London, which has been hit by an epidemic of knife killings this year, almost as many - 90 per cent - were also put before the courts.

On average across the country, more than a third of those caught carrying a knife were let off with a simple police caution - which amounts to no more than a warning.

The latest British Crime Survey has revealed someone is the victim of a knife crime every four minutes and knives are used in about eight per cent of all violent crimes. This year alone 17 teenagers have been stabbed to death in London. Those prosecuted for carrying a knife face jail. The maximum penalty was doubled last year from two to four years.

But fewer than one in five under-18s caught carrying a knife are jailed even when they reach the courts. Our statistics show that across all the forces, around 20 per cent of those caught carrying knives were under 18.

Three charged over teen stabbing

Three young men have been charged with murdering a teenager who was stabbed to death in London last week, police said on Saturday.

Freddy Moody, 18, was found suffering a wound to his abdomen following reports of a fight in Guildford Road, south Lambeth, last Thursday.

He was later pronounced dead in hospital, becoming the 21st teenager to be killed violently in the capital this year.

Detectives said they had charged Jeffrey Adu-Sarfo, 18, Shane Isaacs, 21 and a 17-year-old youth with murder. They are due to appear at Camberwell Magistrates Court later on Saturday.

Exclusive: Brother of youngest knife victim David Idowu speaks out

David Idowu was the kind of boy teachers looked forward to having in their class.

He was a bright, funny, clever lad with an entrepreneurial streak and a fledgling business designing computer graphics.

David was only 14 years old when he died, stabbed in the chest and stomach on his way home from school, his bright red blood spilled on the uniform he was so proud of.

This week, his 18-year-old brother, another bright boy from the inner city, stood fearlessly in front of the Prime Minister and asked him why his brother had to die.

"I was brought up to know if you speak the truth there is nothing to fear," Peter Idowu says later in his darkened sitting room, the blinds pulled down against the outside world.

"My 14-year-old brother died only three miles from Downing Street, and I wanted Mr Brown to tell me why he got stabbed.
"He was not involved in any quarrels. He was not involved in any gang, so how could this happen to him? What did he do to deserve this?"

David's death is a brutal milestone... the youngest victim of the knife epidemic that is blighting Britain. And if the victims are getting younger, so too are the perpetrators.

In Cumbria yesterday a girl of 13 who stabbed a fellow pupil was placed on a 12-month referral order by magistrates and ordered to pay £200 compensation.

A baying mob had filmed the attack on their mobile phones shouting: "This is going on YouTube" as the girl took a craft knife from a classroom and attacked a 15-year-old boy in the playground.

And at the same time detectives are investigating claims that a 10-year-old boy threatened another child with a knife outside a primary school near Chelmsford, Essex. Nobody was killed. But David was not so lucky.

He died in hospital on July 7, almost three weeks after receiving his injuries in the attack five minutes walk from his home on the Tabard Estate in South East London.

Now the Idowus are waiting to bury their son - and waiting for the results of the post-mortem.
"David was the one who lit up the house and made everybody laugh," his older brother Peter says. "Without him our home is so quiet.

"My little brother was very close to David and he has taken it very hard. He is trying to be strong for everyone, but he is only 13."

His mother looks up with red-rimmed eyes from the photographs of David she is sifting through.

"This has got to stop," she says. "No more families should go through this pain."

On Tuesday Peter led hundreds of David's friends and family on a march through South London and across the River Thames to the door of No.10. "We are all backing the Daily Mirror anti-knife campaign," Peter says. "We have to be strong and say that no more young people can die on our streets. This is an emergency."

When the Idowu family were invited into Downing Street, Peter told Gordon Brown how he thought knife crime could be ended.

"The Prime Minister listened to me," he says. "He said I had some very good ideas.What's important now is that things change. He said he will tackle this problem of knives and guns and I hope he will."

Like his brother, David was a thoughtful, hardworking boy deeply worried about knife crime. "He thought about it a lot,"
Peter says. "He had written a speech about knives and guns on our streets that he was due to deliver at a school debating contest just before he died.

"David wanted it to have a good chance at the competition, so he gave it to my dad to read to check it over. My dad said it was so good he was going to take a day off work to see him deliver the speech."

Instead, on the day he should have spoken, David lay critically injured at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, stabbed two days earlier as he walked home in his Walworth Academy uniform.

This week, his family went bravely to the scene, where the railings are decorated with the blue-and silver striped tie of his school.

Exclusive: Mum of stabbed Harry Potter star Rob Knox angry at club closure

The mum of stabbed Harry Potter actor Rob Knox yesterday blasted their council for closing a local football club and leaving kids with nowhere to go.

The club has helped keep children off the streets since 1928, but is due to be demolished to make way for new housing.

Speaking at a charity game organised in honour of her 18-year-old son, who was stabbed to death, mum Sally said: "This club has become crucial to the community. The kids need somewhere to go, so they are not hanging around, bored and getting into trouble.

"If the Government is serious about tackling knife crime they should be creating more activities for teenagers, not knocking down the ones they've got."

Sally added: "Putting my heart and soul into Rob's charity has helped me. If we can give teens somewhere to go after school and on weekends, maybe Rob won't have died in vain." The council claims the site is integral to the regeneration of the area and served notice two weeks ago. They believe they have the right to seize the land because of a £140,000 debt for overdue rent.

But the club says this is cancelled out by maintenance work they have paid for over the years, amounting to around £200,000.

Brother of knifed Harry Potter star Rob Knox speaks for the first time

For 17 years they were inseparable, brothers as well as best friends who did everything together.

Tragically, it was this close bond which led Harry Potter star Robbie Knox to die - stabbed to death protecting his younger brother Jamie.

Now, in his first interview since the shocking killing, Jamie has told how he will never get over Robbie's death and how he is determined to become a movie star to keep his brother's memory alive.

"I just wish I'd had the chance to tell Rob how much I loved him and always looked up to him," said 17-year-old Jamie. "He died protecting me, like he always did and I am immensely proud of him. Rob died for a cause, which was me.

"I can't believe he was snatched away so quickly. Rob always looked after me. He was fair and decent, someone I wanted to be.

"Rob and I were the best of friends. We could have the biggest fight and within five minutes we'd be laughing about it. We couldn't hold a grudge.

"I copied everything he did. I looked up to him a hell of a lot, although I never used to tell him. There's such a huge void in my life now he's gone."

Robbie, 18, died on May 24 just two days after he finished filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Jamie, Rob and a close-knit group of friends had decided to celebrate at the Metro Bar near their home in Sidcup, Kent. "It was just a fun hangout and we were having a laugh dancing to the cheesy music," said Jamie.

But a man allegedly armed with two knives arrived at the bar and is said to have threatened Jamie.

Robbie instinctively stepped in to defend his little brother and was attacked himself. The fight then spilled on to the street. It was only later Jamie realised his brother was lying on the pavement covered in blood.

"Everything happened so quickly," said Jamie. "One minute we were enjoying ourselves, the next there was a fight and Rob was on the ground and it was too late. It felt surreal, like I was living out a nightmare."

Four other friends were injured - one, Dean Saunders, 21, is now in a wheelchair after he was stabbed three times in the neck.

Rob was the 14th teenager to be killed in London since January, yet the toll has continued to climb and has now reached 21.

Teenager was stabbed to death over a row during a water fight

The teenager stabbed to death yards from his home was killed over a row during a water fight.

Frederick Moody, 18, became the 21st teenager to die in London this year when he was ambushed by a gang of up to eight hoodies.

Witnesses heard the killers shout "leave him for dead" before fleeing on bikes in Stockwell, South London.
Frederick, known as Freddy, staggered a few hundred years before collapsing from his stomach wounds at 7pm on Thursday night.

Neighbour Sharon Smith, 23, ran into the road after hearing shouts and cradled the dying teen in her arms as another neighbour soaked up the blood with towels. Sharon said: "His eyes were rolling back in his head and he was murmuring. A doctor from a local surgery started CPR then ambulances arrived and tried to resuscitate him but it didn't work." Freddy was taken to St Thomas Hospital but died at 8.15pm.

One boy said a row erupted with a gang at the Summer Splash water fight in Holland Park, West London.

The aspiring rapper lived near Stockwell tube station on a leafy street where houses cost £1million. Edward Garnier, Tory shadow justice minister, lives around the corner.

Freddy's stepbrother Elliott Amoakoh, 24, said: "He was never in trouble or associated with violence. I can't understand it."
A 16-year-old was arrested yesterday morning in Brixton.

Fancy dress funeral for murdered Ben Kinsella

Stars from the world of entertainment joined more than 1,000 mourners today for the funeral of murdered teenager Ben Kinsella.

Dozens of the 16-year-old's friends dressed up in colourful clown wigs, outsized sunglasses and Daily Mirror Stop Knives Save Lives campaign t-shirts for his funeral today.

They were joined at the service by a number of former EastEnders stars, politicians and actors.

In a deliberate twist from traditional funeral convention, many of Ben's friends came dressed in bright colours with some bearing a single white or red rose.

And in another break from tradition, the teenager's purple coffin was brought out from the church to sustained applause.

Former EastEnders' stars Michelle Ryan, Gillian Taylforth and James Alexandrou were joined by actress Linda Robson, the father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, Richard, and Islington North Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn for the service.

His sister Brooke, wearing a yellow dress, mum Debbie, dad George and sisters Jade and Georgia moved quickly through the throng to take their places inside the church.

Another touching tribute read: "I love you, you were a beautiful star and now you will shine even brighter. I miss you so much. I love you even more." It was signed "B".

Some mourners broke down in tears as members of Ben's family carried his coffin into the church, accompanied by the Michael Jackson song "Ben".

Two hearses lead a large procession of funeral cars which crammed into the street outside.

Each of the cars was bedecked with floral tributes. The lead hearse bearing a huge pair of red sunglasses.

Other poignant tributes included a football made of flowers, a large letter X representing a kiss, and arrangements reading "son", "cousin" and "great nephew".

The road outside the church was closed due to the huge amount of people attending the service.

Police later estimated that more than 1,000 mourners had been inside the church alone.

Three teenagers have been charged with Ben's murder.

Juress Kika, 18, Michael Alleyne, 18, and Jade Braithwaite, 19, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court and have been remanded in custody to October 13.

Murdered teen assaulted by "up to eight" attackers

Police investigating the knife murder of an 18-year-old male youth in south London said on Friday he had been assaulted by up to eight hooded attackers.

Officers arrested a 16-year-old boy over the murder at his home in Brixton in the early hours of the morning.

Police had been called on Thursday evening to reports of a fight in Guildford Road, south Lambeth, and found the 18-year-old stabbed in the abdomen.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"It is believed that up to eight males were involved in the assault on the victim," Scotland Yard said.

"The suspects are described at this early stage as wearing hooded tops and some were possibly in possession of bikes."

Knife crime has become a top political issue in recent weeks with a spate of violent deaths, mostly stabbings, on the streets of London so far this year.

EastEnders star Brooke Kinsella makes heartfelt plea on knife crime as she lays murdered brother Ben to rest

Grieving Brooke Kinsella today makes a heart-rending plea to end knife crime as she lays murdered brother Ben to rest.

She says: "Enough is enough. Do something now to make sure your brother, sister, son, or best friend's life doesn't end the same awful way."

The former EastEnders star speaks out as official figures disclose that a knife attack is carried out every four minutes, adding urgency to the Mirror's Stop Knives, Save Lives campaign. She declares: "The problem is far worse than imagined. It's why we have to act so quickly.

"We have to inform youngsters and parents of the brutal truth and work hard, right now, to get rid of this menace. I'm so glad the Mirror is spotlighting the terrifying facts. Hopefully, it will shake us up."

Brooke, 25 yesterday, says: "Ben's personality was so bright we've asked people to come in colourful clothes.

"There'll be lots of sunglasses, too. They'll help hide our tears. It's going to be a totally overwhelming day."

Gordon Brown yesterday urged people not to try to break up street violence.

After saying his thoughts were with the Kinsella family today, he said: "You have to be very careful. Phone the police and get them to take the necessary action."

The Premier added: "If you have a knife you could end up in prison. That's the message we have to get across."

Cricketers join our Stop Knives Save Lives campaign

Four of England's cricketers pose proudly as they add their support to the Mirror's Stop Knives Save Lives campaign.

Wearing T-shirts bearing a picture of 16-year-old stab victim Ben Kinsella, players Tim Ambrose, Stuart Broad, Alistair Cook and captain Michael Vaughan became the latest stars to join our bid to end the violence on the streets. Vaughan said: "We would like to send our sympathies to those families who have lost loved ones due to knife crime. It is having a devastating impact. We are happy to lend our support to this campaign."

They were pictured at Headingley in Leeds where today they will play South Africa just as Ben's family and friends gather for his funeral.

Lily Allen meets mayor Boris Johnson to talk knife crime

Lily Allen has had an audience with London Mayor Boris Johnson to give her views on the current knife crime situation.

The singer spent 45 minutes canvassing the Mayor at City Hall after posting a direct appeal to the capital's Tory chief on her Myspace internet site.

Lily outlined several proposals to help challenge the idea that knife crime is cool and to encourage teenagers to be more ambitious about their future.

Johnson said afterwards: "I welcome any constructive suggestions on combating knife crime and Lily Allen has already proved her commitment to help address this problem. I welcome her proposals and am keen to explore further how she can help us address this serious and distressing problem.

"There is nothing romantic or glamorous about knife crime and I'm delighted Lily will be using her considerable profile and fan base to spread that message."

The meeting was sparked by Lily's original post earlier this month on her blog which said: "Please can everyone stop stabbing each other in the UK. It's really sad, my thoughts are with all the families affected by these heinous crimes.

"We need to have a knife amnesty, we should put on a big concert to raise awareness and stop the violence, Boris, if your listening call me man. Speak soon peeps xxx."

Lily also suggested holding an awareness-raising pop concert, but nothing has come of that idea yet.

Shock new figures reveal a knife crime takes place every four minutes in Britain

Shocking new figures released today show that a knife crime takes place every four minutes in Britain.

The grim picture was revealed in annual crime figures which showed that police recorded 22,151 offences involving knives last year in England and Wales.

The figures - which have been collected only since April last year - showed offences involving knives included 231 attempted murders, 11,528 personal robberies, 2,359 business robberies and more than 8,000 woundings.

The highest number of knife offences - 7,409 - took place in London alone with the West Midlands having the second highest figure with 2,303 incidents. Third was Greater Manchester with 2,294.

The figures also showed that the menace of knife crime is not just confined to cities with Devon and Cornwall recording 288 offences, Northumbria, 351 and Thames Valley, 329.

Other mainly rural forces with significant numbers of knife crimes included Sussex with 274, Hampshire with 388, Kent with 327, Bedfordshire with 316, Cheshire with 224 and North Wales with 108.

Serious violent crimes involving a blade have previously been bundled with other attacks, but since April last year officers have recorded them separately in light of growing public concern.

The figures come on the day Home Secretary Jacqui Smith published a new package of police reforms, including a resurrection of plans to merge police forces.

Police arrest 6th suspect over French students case

Police arrested a sixth suspect on Thursday in connection with the frenzied murders of two French students, which caused shock on both sides of the Channel.

London's Metropolitan Police said they had arrested a 28-year-old man for attempting to pervert the course of justice after he presented himself at a south London police station. He has been bailed to return on August 25.

Last week, police charged Nigel Farmer, 33, and Daniel Sonnex, 23, with the murders of 23-year-old students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez.

Farmer was additionally charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and arson while Sonnex was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Another man and a woman have also been arrested and freed on bail but were not charged.

Police have previously described the June 29 murders as among the most gruesome crimes they have ever encountered. The pair were tied up, Bonomo was stabbed almost 200 times, Ferez had nearly 50 knife wounds and the apartment was set ablaze.

The slayings took place at a time when there has been a wave of knife crime in London, drawing attention from the media and politicians with French newspapers saying the murders showed how dangerous London has become.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Exclusive: US rocker Ted Nugent's outrageous rant on UK knife crime

American rock star Ted Nugent has followed in Lily Allen's footsteps to be the latest celebrity to comment on the UK's knife crime problem.

However, unlike Lily, he's set to spark controversy with his outrageous views.

An advocate of hunting and gun-ownership rights, Nugent currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association and thinks the problem would stop if Britons were allowed to arm themselves with guns.

Talking mid-set during his gig at London's Indigo venue in the 02 Arena on Monday night, he said: "I understand that London has a knife problem. That's because you took everybody's guns away."

He continued: "If you had a f***ing gun you could shoot the motherf*****s with the knife. Do you need me to explain that to you dumb Limey motherf******? In Detroit, we don't have a knife problem. The knife motherf*****s got a Ted problem."

"'Oooh, he's got a knife, I'll pretend I'm from England'. [Imitates firing a gun]. Take that motherf****r. [Then pretends to call 911]: 'You might wanna bring a dustpan and broom because there's a big puddle of shit on the sidewalk'. That's what you call a deterrent. That motherf****r ain't gonna knife no-one ever again."

It's unlikely anti-knife campaigners are going to take Nugent's ideas seriously however.

Teen awarded for gang crime campaign

A teen was honoured yesterday for his campaign against gang crime after his friend was stabbed to death at 16.

Alexander Rose sold T-shirts with an anti-youth crime message on eBay after Eugene Attram died in 2006. He has also worked with the police and invited to 10 Downing Street.

The 19-year-old, of Tooting, South London, was given an Anne Frank Award for his courage at a ceremony in London. He said: "Eugene was an innocent person caught up in gang warfare. I want to make sure others don't go down that path."

Deadly knives that "explode" in their victims

Police fear gangs may arm themselves with deadly knives that "explode" in their victims.

American-made hunters' Wasp knives, costing £200, are designed to kill sharks and bears by thrusting a frozen compressed gas ball into them. It expands to the size of a basketball, instantly freezing surrounding organs.

A police source said: "This knife will almost certainly kill. It's only a matter of time before one of them is used."

Steven Gerrard & pals join campaign to keep knives off the streets

Top football stars have joined the campaign to keep knives off our streets.

England players Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and ex-captain Alan Shearer, have all been shocked by the spate of stabbings across the UK.

And now they are urging youngsters to turn away from crime and harness their aggression in the boxing ring. They are backing a drive called Gloves Not Guns, Gangs or Knives.

Launched by the Amateur Boxing Association of England, it aims to improve facilities for children and get them to leave the streets for the gym.

Striker Michael Owen said: "Boxing teaches kids about controlled discipline, respect and being positive. I'm sure it will help kids from all backgrounds and communities." Sam Rush at ABAE said: "We've all got a part to play - we can make a difference."

Boxing stars Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan have offered to give master classes.

Courts to name and shame teen yobs

Courts will name and shame teen yobs to cut stabbings and youth crime, it was revealed yesterday.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw is urging judges and magistrates to lift restrictions that stop under-18s being identified in the dock.

Youths are usually only named in exceptional cases involving extreme violence.

Mr Straw said: "We want to divert young people away from crime so they are not unnecessarily drawn into the criminal justice system."
Naming and shaming is just one of the measures in the Youth Crime Action Plan to cut the numbers ending up before the courts.
They will be expected to say sorry, make amends to victims and do unpaid community work instead.

Ben Kinsella's EastEnder pal Joe backs our Stop Knives Save Lives campaign

Eastenders star Joe Swash is supporting the Mirror's Stop Knives Save Lives campaign.

The actor, who played Mickey Miller in the BBC1 soap, has been friends with Brooke Kinsella and her family since childhood.

Devastated by her brother Ben's death, Joe yesterday threw his celebrity weight firmly behind our efforts. He said: "I've known Brooke and her family since I was around six and known Ben since he was a nipper.

"I've never met a more loving family in my life ...and the thought that someone took their little Ben from them makes me feel sick.

"Brooke is still one of my closest friends and the other day she came around to my flat, just to get out of her own house for a while because it's simply so full of grief.

"We had a cuddle and a chat. I think losing Ben has not quite sunk in for her yet because she's been so busy, using Ben's death as a catalyst to stop all the knife violence. She's so tiny and frail and I just want to look after her. And Ben was such a lovely, loving, charming young gentleman.

"He was one of those kids who just wanted to get on with his life - always playing football or acting and never just hanging round the streets. He never got into trouble. But then my Mum called me to tell me that Ben had been killed after she heard about it on the news.

"For Ben's funeral, the family want people to wear funky sunglasses, which he always loved, and bright colours to celebrate his life.

"I last saw Ben a week before he died, when Brooke and I teased him about becoming a man and being taller than us. I feel lucky to have nice memories of him laughing and smiling.

The Mirror demands...
1 Give our police tools to catch knife thugs
2 Launch amnesty to bring in theblades
3 Nurses must report treating stab victims
4 Teach all pupils that knives solve nothing
5 Texts and internet will help win battle

Gordon Brown's tough crackdown on knife crime

Knife thugs will be forced to clean up the streets on Friday and Saturday nights in an effort to stop the shocking violence blighting Britain.

Gordon Brown yesterday ruled out automatic jail sentences for anybody caught carrying a blade but pledged stiffer community punishments.

And he vowed to shame youngsters into binning their knives by making them wear a special uniform while carrying out up to 300 hours of graffiti cleaning or sweeping the streets.

As part of his plan to get to grips with young criminals, Mr Brown also wants to see problem families identified and given "parenting contracts" spelling out when children can be allowed out.

He has called for town halls to use powers to introduce curfews for under-16s.

And he wants 20,000 of the most out-of-control families to be given their own government advisers to help turn their lives around or face council house eviction.

Mr Brown's anti-knife proposals came amid an embarrassing U-turn by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith over plans to take knife thugs on tours of accident and emergency departments to see the consequences of their actions.

On Sunday, Miss Smith had outlined the plan for thugs to tour casualties.
But yesterday she insisted: "We are not, and I have never said we are, proposing to bring young people into wards to see patients face to face."

LibDem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "Thank heavens the Home Secretary has seen sense.
"This idea is not just bonkers, but has been tried, tested and failed in the US."

Knife crime: Gordon Brown warns parents to keep children under control

Gordon Brown warned parents today they had a duty to keep their children under control amid escalating public fears about youth knife crime.

Up to 20,000 families could face eviction from their homes if they fail to rein in their offspring, the Prime Minister said.

They are among 110,000 households in which children are thought to be at risk of becoming prolific offenders - and where authorities are to target special support.

Youngsters who carry knives were also threatened with being forced to spend their Friday and Saturday nights carrying out hundreds of hours of community punishment.

After a series of high-profile stabbings which has thrust knife crime to the top of the political agenda, Mr Brown acknowledged today that many people felt unsafe in their own homes.

"Too many people, young and old, do not feel safe in the streets, and sometimes even in their homes, as a result of the behaviour of a minority," he told his regular Downing Street press conference.

Foreshadowing a £100 million youth crime action plan to be published tomorrow, Mr Brown said community punishments would be strengthened to make them "tough, visible and effective".

Video clips of horrific injuries to be sent to young people in fight against knives

Graphic videos will be emailed to youngsters to shock them out of knife crime under a major drive unveiled yesterday.

The move follows a call by the Daily Mirror's Stop Knives, Save Lives campaign for greater use of text messaging and the internet to tackle blade violence.

The film clips made by Tower Hamlets Council show the bloody effects of knife attacks and will be posted on internet sites such as YouTube and Bebo.

They will also be sent at random to mobile phones via Bluetooth, with young people being encouraged to forward them on.

One video shows a young man with blood gushing from a deep wound to his neck. It ends with the message: "Carry a knife and you risk being stabbed on your own blade."

Another features a doctor talking about the seriousness of knife wounds while a third depicts staged CCTV footage of a street attack.

It comes after two more victims were knifed to death at the weekend. There are an average 56 stabbings a day nationwide. Twenty teenagers have died from the blade in London this year.

Two more dead and five injured in weekend of knife crime

Britain suffered another bloody weekend of knife crime, which left two dead and five more injured.

Three of the attacks were in Bolton, Greater Manchester, where 30-year-old Paul Gilligan, from Little Hulton, died after he was stabbed in the chest and shoulder on Saturday night.

A 19-year-old youth has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

On Friday, a 19-year-old was stabbed in the neck as he sat in his car in Bolton.

He was stable in hospital yesterday.

Earlier on Friday a 24-year-old man was stabbed in the same road after he approached by a man to ask for a cigarette.

There was a row and he was stabbed in the side.

A murder investigation was also under way in Bristol, where a man was stabbed to death during a street disturbance.

He was named by locals as 43-year-old father of four Johnny Derrick, who suffered knife wounds to the head and chest in the Withywood area of the city.

He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition where doctors fought to save him, but he died yesterday morning. Police said he died after a "domestic" dispute.