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Knife murder victim families' campaign

PUBLISHED: 10:47 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:50 25 August 2010

MURDERED: Actor Rob Knox

MURDERED: Actor Rob Knox

A MOTHER whose son was stabbed to death yards from her home has thrown her weight behind a campaign to sentence knife murderers the same terms as those who kill with guns. Following a campaign by the family of murdered 16-year-old Ben Kinsella, Justice S

A MOTHER whose son was stabbed to death yards from her home has thrown her weight behind a campaign to sentence knife murderers the same terms as those who kill with guns.

Following a campaign by the family of murdered 16-year-old Ben Kinsella, Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced on Tuesday there was a case for increasing the minimum term handed out to those who kill with knives.

Michelle Jeacock, 41, whose 16-year-old son Julian 'Buster' Knight was stabbed to death in a Thamesmead on July 15, 2006 street said he would still be alive today if knife murderers were given tougher sentences.

Currently, judges can only jail murderers who use a knife for a minimum of 15 years - half of what they can hand down to those who use a gun.

Ms Jeacock, who cradled her son in her arms as he lay dying from a stab wound to the neck, said: "It is only right that it should be in line with gun laws. Buster would still be here if this 30 years tariff was in place.

"Thirty years is a deterrent. I don't think 15 years is. We need this deterrent. We need the stabbings to stop.

"You have to get very close to someone, to stab them. It is a really violent act. It isn't like a gun where it is from a distance.

"15 years is an insult to all families. You suffer everyday."

Ms Jeacock and her family have been calling for tougher sentences since June 2007 when her eldest son's murderer Stelios Paraschakis, who had been armed with two knives during the attack, was sentenced to 18 years.

The father of murderer Harry Potter actor Rob Knox, 18, who was stabbed five times in Sidcup last May, said it was "absolutely sickening" to separate the two types of murders in the first place.

His son's murderer and habitual knife carrier Karl Bishop, 22, was given four life sentences in March this year, but will only serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

Colin Knox, from Greenhithe, said: "It is absolutely sickening that they separate it.

"Life is the most scared thing on this earth. When you take it away it affects hundreds of people in a big way.

"If you kill someone, it doesn't make it any lesser than if you did it with a firearm or knife. The punishment should be in accord with the crime.

"I have been trying for 365 days plus, but I don't feel healed. I think I will carry that pain forever.

"Instead of Jack Straw saying he is going to have a review, why can't he say this is what I am going to do, instead of sending soundbites to people?"

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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