WOMAN RE­VEALS

Banned zom­bie blades for sale on

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Dan Warburton by Scar­let Howes

THE hor­rific ef­fects of knife crime can de­stroy an en­tire fam­ily – not just the tragic vic­tim.

Few peo­ple are more aware of this than Linda O’neill.

When her nephew Si­mon Hen­der­son was mur­dered in 2002 it was the trig­ger for a se­ries of heart­break­ing events.

Since Si­mon died, so too have his mum, dad and brother.

Linda, 61, sees so many other fam­i­lies fac­ing the tor­ment hers has en­dured. And she has spo­ken out to slam the Govern­ment for con­tin­u­ally fail­ing to stem the blood­shed on our streets.

She be­lieves vi­o­lence has spi­ralled out of con­trol as a re­sult of polic­ing cut­backs and soft sen­tences.

Linda said: “Bri­tain is law­less and MPS in the House of Com­mons do noth­ing but drink in their cheap bars. They’ve done noth­ing. It’s a dis­grace.

“I feel sorry for the po­lice, they’re do­ing all they can.

“Con­victed killers live a bet­ter life than they would on the out­side.

“Their fam­i­lies know they will walk free one day. Their vic­tims don’t have that com­fort. You’re scared to put the TV on. Every time the news comes on there’s an­other vic­tim.

“When I see a vic­tim all I can think about is the fam­ily hav­ing to hear the news their fam­ily mem­ber has died, the feel­ing of los­ing some­one spe­cial. I think about them hav­ing to go to a coro­ner’s court and look at a body on a ta­ble.”

Linda spoke as it emerged 5,053 peo­ple were ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal with stab wounds in the past year.

It was up 14 per cent on 2016/17 and a surge of 39 per cent on 2014/15.

Vi­o­lent crime was up nearly 20 per cent dur­ing the same pe­riod, while Govern­ment fund­ing for po­lice has been slashed by 30 per cent since 2010.

And this week a boy of 16 be­came the year’s 250th knife fa­tal­ity, the fifth per­son stabbed to death in six days in Lon­don alone.

Si­mon, 21, was knifed in the neck by thug Somir Ak­bar close to the lift of a block of flats as he went to visit his di­a­betic fa­ther Wil­liam.

When Wil­liam, 52, was told he was dead in the hospi­tal he cried out “Oh my God” then had a mas­sive heart at­tack and col­lapsed on the wait­ing room floor.

He died a week later, shortly af­ter re­turn­ing home.

Two years af­ter Si­mon’s mur­der his brother Stephen, 24, was so con­sumed with grief he took an over­dose.

Their mum Kay found his body sur­rounded by fam­ily pho­tos with a note that read: “I’m sorry, Mum, I can’t go on with­out my brother and Dad.”

Now Linda, Kay’s twin sis­ter, has AMA­ZON has re­moved a deadly arsenal of zom­bie knives, ma­chetes and pocket blades that were avail­able to chil­dren on its site.

Our probe found weaponry was be­ing or­dered with no age checks for as lit­tle as £20 – de­spite a sup­posed UK crack­down on sell­ing blades to young­sters two years ago.

Zom­bie knives are meant to be banned on the UK site but could be bought on its US site, where in­ter­na­tional de­liv­ery is ad­ver­tised.

At least eight prod­uct lines – one promis­ing “brute chop­ping and slash­ing power” – have now been re­moved from Ama­zon Mar­ket­place.

Prof­its

But the web gi­ant faces a bat­tle to stop rogue ven­dors re-list­ing them. Our find­ings will also spark fur­ther calls for tighter reg­u­la­tion. Labour’s Louise Haigh said: “Plat­forms can­not con­tinue to duck their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. They need to di­vert just a small frac­tion of their enor­mous prof­its to in­tro­duc­ing proper age ver­i­fi­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy.” Knives bought on the site have al­ready been used lethally. In 2014, the 16-year-old killer of school­boy Bai­ley Gwynne in Aberdeen used a knife bought on Ama­zon be­fore the UK crack­down and de­liv­ered with­out an age check. Ama­zon said: “Mar­ket­place sell­ers must fol­low our guide­lines. The prod­ucts in ques­tion are no longer avail­able.” re­vealed how Kay was so con­sumed with grief she locked her­self away for more than 15 years, re­fus­ing to leave her home. Just as she was ven­tur­ing out and be­gin­ning to re­build her life she was di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal can­cer and died in Septem­ber. Linda, a for­mer re­cep­tion­ist, said: “When that boy killed Si­mon he mur­dered our whole fam­ily. It had a domino ef­fect that ru­ined our lives. “Kay be­came a recluse for 15 years. She wouldn’t leave the flat where she had a shrine to her fam­ily – the ashes

CON­CERNED: Mr Bew CAR­ING: Si­mon was vis­it­ing dad SO CLOSE: Twin sis­ters Linda and Kay WEB AD: Hor­rific weapon

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