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Home   Medway   News   Article

Petition calls for tougher knife crime laws after Gillingham dad David Young's stabbing death

31 July 2013
by Lynn Cox
David Young died after being stabbed in Windmill Road, Gillingham

David Young died after being stabbed in Windmill Road, Gillingham

A petition calling for tougher sentences for knife crime has been launched after the death of a Medway man stabbed in the street.

Abby Bourner - the sister of David Young's fiancée - set up the online petition after 17-year-old killer Thomas Hodge was sentenced to seven years' youth detention for manslaughter, but will serve three-and-a-half years in custody.

Father-of-two Mr Young, 28, died in hospital five days after suffering a wound to his thigh in the attack in Gillingham early on New Year's Day.

His fiancée Kirsty Bryant and his the rest of his grieving family hit out last week at Hodge's sentence - claiming it did not give them justice.

Miss Bourner, 22, set up the government e-petition the following day - and more than 1,200 people have signed it in less than a week.

"I think the sentence was outrageous," said Miss Bourner, of Hawthorne Avenue, Twydall. "Dave was robbed of justice - we've not got justice at all.

"I think people who carry knives should get an automatic three-year sentence, just for carrying a knife. It would act as a deterrent."

Anti-knife crime campaign image for online petition created by Abby Bourner, sister-in-law of David Young

Anti-knife crime campaign image for online petition created by Abby Bourner, sister-in-law of David Young

The petition needs 100,000 signatures for the issue to be raised in the House of Commons.

Miss Bourner has also written to Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti, who has already raised the issue of knife crime in Parliament.

Drug addict Thomas Hodge was convicted of killing David Young

Drug addict Thomas Hodge was convicted of killing David Young

She added: "Dave should not be dead, he was a placid guy and we are doing this for him.

"We think people should get an immediate custodial sentence as if you take a knife out then the intention is there.

"I would urge people to sign it as it could be your relative who could be hurt by a knife or even killed - we need to take a stand."

David Young's family with his fiancee Kirsty Bryant, left, outside Maidstone Crown Court

David Young's family with his fiancee Kirsty Bryant, left, outside Maidstone Crown Court

To sign the Knives Ruin Lives - Justice for Dave e-petition, click here.

 

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