Knife Crime

Petitions – in the House of Commons at 7:02 pm on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Defence) 7:02 pm, 21st March 2007

I should like to present a public petition to the House of Commons in the name of my constituent, Mrs. Ann Oakes-Odger, which has been signed by 5,000 people. On 12 September 2005 her son, Westley Odger was brutally murdered at 3 pm. It was a bright sunny day. This barbaric act was witnessed by people of all ages, many of whom were traumatised by what they saw: a single fatal stab wound to the neck. Despite all attempts, people were unable to save his life. He was aged 27.

Following a trial, Mark Fredericks was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter. He was to serve half, having already spent 321 days in custody. His brother, Andrew Fredericks, was sentenced to life, but need serve only 15 years before applying for parole. Both had a history of violence and were known to carry knives.

The Petitioners declare:

We are appalled by the number of people killed through the use of guns and knives; we are further appalled that, although the number of people who are killed by knives is three times higher than those who are killed by guns, the legal system treats knife crimes less seriously than gun crimes.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Home Secretary to introduce legislation so that the carrying of knives and the use of knives, and sentencing policies, are treated on the same terms as gun crimes.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.