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Dad of murdered Sidcup actor tries to build anti-knife crime legacy

PUBLISHED: 09:43 23 August 2012

Colin Knox

Colin Knox

Archant

Losing your child is one of the worst things that can happen to a person and when he is viciously murdered at the age of 18, protecting his younger brother, many can only imagine the unbearable pain and loss.

Rob KnoxRob Knox

Harry Potter actor Rob Knox died outside Metro Club in Sidcup on May 24 2008 because he thought his then 16-year-old sibling Jamie was in danger.

But rather than be destroyed by grief, his dad Colin Knox, along with his ex-wife Sally, who lives in Maidstone Road, Sidcup, have campaigned tirelessly to educate people about knife crime and to try and make streets safer.

The teenager played wizard student Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Mr Knox admits his son’s acting left them in a “fortunate position” when it came to campaigning and raising awareness.

He said: “The press and public were interested in Rob because of Harry Potter and we started campaigning almost from the day he died. Myself and Sally stood before the media and pleaded for youngsters not to carry knives.

Jamie, Sally and Colin KnoxJamie, Sally and Colin Knox

“Look at what it has cost us. It’s hell on earth, having one of your offspring murdered. Time doesn’t heal because I love my son too much. You can never get rid of the weight of the pain you can only cope with it.”

In the aftermath of Rob’s death his parents set up the Rob Knox Memorial Fund, which in turn became the Rob Knox Foundation.

The couple were given the Parents Peace Award in 2009 to reflect their fight against street crime and accepted an invitation to name the Bexley Film Festival after the budding thespian in the same year.

They have also done a great deal of work with the Street Violence Ruins Lives campaign, run by Charlton Athletic Football Club.

Greenhithe resident Mr Knox, 59, explained: “Fighting street crime is an important part of my life. I want Rob’s life to mean something and not be in vain.

“It’s not the knife that’s the danger it’s the person carrying it. Carrying a knife should carry a six month prison sentence, irrespective of whether the person uses it. There needs to be a deterrent.”

Rob received a posthumous award for bravery from the police a month after his death, demonstrating the courage he showed to protect Jamie.

Mr Knox spoke out once more when 16-year-old Yemurai Kanyangarara was stabbed to death in Welling last July and spoke at a Bexley Youth Violence meeting two months later.

He is determined to battle on, to ensure that other lives and families are not destroyed. “We must not be complacent. This will be a long fight.”

To find out more about the Rob Knox Foundation visit www.robknox.co.uk

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