Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Anti-knife crime rally in Maidstone after fatal stabbing of Andre Bent

An anti-knife crime rally has been taking place in Maidstone.

Concerned parents, residents and those who want to see a change in the community headed to Jubilee Square this afternoon, in the hope of having their voices heard.

The first group of people to arrive at the rally (16243989)
The first group of people to arrive at the rally (16243989)

Organised by Ade Sparco, a former bouncer in the County Town, he asked for it to remain "peaceful" and without any "anger or arguments".

More than 50 people joined forces in the square, with a list of demands in hand.

It comes following the fatal stabbing of student Andre Bent in Jubilee Square last month.

The 21-year-old was stabbed to death and four others were injured during violent scenes outside the Gallery Nightclub at 3am on Sunday, August 25.

A 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, earlier appeared in court accused of murder, three attempted murders, and possession of an offensive weapon.

Groups made signs to hold at the event (16243994)
Groups made signs to hold at the event (16243994)

Police have since called for a review of a nightclub's licence in the wake of a suspected murder after a MoStack gig at the venue.

Claire Fry was one of the mums at the rally. Her 21-year-old son was stabbed in the stomach and back, in 2015, while on a night out in Maidstone.

She said: "My son was stabbed four years ago. It's been going on for too long and what happened to Andre Bent is just the beginning.

"The mental health issues that my son has now have been awful. He suffers everyday.

"I went to the hospital to see him and it was like a murder scene. People aren't thinking about the after effects.

"It's scary, you can't even look the wrong way now because you don't know what will happen."

Claire Fry speaks out about what she wants to see in the town

When asked what she would like to see change, she replied: "There needs to be metal arches on every pub, bouncers that are fully trained, and more police patrols."
Mum-of-two, Lorraine Burns, lost her brother at the age of just 19, after he was stabbed on a night out in London.
She said: "My brother was stabbed to death and they got away with it.

"It has reached Maidstone now and it has got worse over the last 10 years.

"The clubs are going downhill and it is ridiculous. There needs to be more police and security guards, even if it means we start doing parent patrols.

Lorraine Burns holds her sign high in the air (16243974)
Lorraine Burns holds her sign high in the air (16243974)

"I wanted to come today and unite everyone and stop these people.

"My daughter was in Gallery the night Andre Bent was killed, luckily she didn't leave until later, otherwise she could have been involved."

Andrew Brown, who lives in Maidstone, made sure to write a list of what is needed in the town before attending the rally.

He said: "It has been getting worse for years but now it has taken someone to be stabbed for people to start bucking their ideas up, it's not good enough."
His list asked for a number of things to be implemented including more doormen, body cams and for staff to be 'held accountable for their actions'.

Ade Sparco addresses crowd before minutes silence

Director of SCNIS, Michael Swan, who provided assistance at the scene when Andre passed away, asked for people to donate to the Urban Blue Bus volunteers, who applied first aid to those who were injured.

The online fundraiser has reached £280 and if you would like to donate click here

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More