Speak up now…
I watched helplessly as my innocent boy bled to death…
As I cooked dinner, my boys chatted quietly in the next room.
‘When we grow up, we should live near Mum,’ my youngest Edvin, then 10, said to his big brother Edward, 18. ‘So we can look after her when she’s an old lady.’ Bless him!
It was late 1998, I was a single mum, and Edvin was my ray of sunshine.
He’d been born with a severe squint, started wearing glasses at three months.
But he didn’t care, loved reading, sport. Played football, tennis, liked swimming.
He was a huge Arsenal fan, and played footy for school and a local team.
Edvin was a joker, too, always ready with a quip and a laugh.
His quiet confidence made him popular, and his smile could light up a room. But he was kind, too. We didn’t have a car, so he’d walk with me to the shops, carry all our groceries home.
‘Mum, one day when I get a good job and earn lots of money, I’m going to buy you a nice car,’ he’d say. ‘A sensible hatchback!’ So sweet and funny. He was always thinking about me, wanting to take care of his mum.
As Edvin entered his teens, he focused on his sports and studies.
He had big ambitions to work in sports management and travel the world.
‘You’ll need a degree,’ I told him. Edvin was determined. After college, he applied to universities.
I was bursting with pride when he won a place studying Business at Southampton.
He was due to start in October 2007.
‘I’ll miss you so much,’ I told him.
But I couldn’t wait to see him flourish.
That summer, I went out and bought him new clothes, stationery, pots and pans.
Everything he’d need for student life.
‘Thanks, Mum,’ he grinned, trying on his new jeans.
On 16 September 2007 Edvin was a couple of weeks from leaving home.
He went to church, played football in the afternoon.
Later, he popped out to visit a friend in the flats next door.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
‘See you later,’ he said as he left.
Only, just after 9pm, my mobile phone rang.
It was Edvin’s friend.
‘Edvin has been hurt. Come quick,’ he cried. Panicking, I screamed for Edward, then 27.
‘Something’s happened to your brother,’ I shouted.
Together, we ran to the next-door flats.
My stomach churned when
Sobbing, I took him in my arms, kissed his forehead...
I saw an ambulance outside. Maybe he’s just fallen, I thought.
But as I climbed the stairs and turned the corner, I spotted Edvin lying in the stairwell. In a pool of blood. There was a paramedic working on him.
Edward and I looked on hopelessly as the paramedic desperately tried to save him. But somehow I just knew. My little ray of sunshine was already gone.
Edvin was lifted onto a stretcher, rushed away in an ambulance.
Two police officers drove me and Edward to King’s College Hospital – but, as we arrived at A&E, a police officer broke the terrible news.
Edvin had been pronounced dead on arrival.
He’d bled to death from a single stab wound to his groin.
Heart shattering, I was led into a room where Edvin lay on a bed. Quiet and still. Sobbing, I took him in my arms, kissed his forehead.
Told him how much I loved him.
‘What happened? Who did this to you?’ I wept, choking back tears.
But my poor boy couldn’t answer me.
Couldn’t tell us who was responsible for putting him there.
Days passed in a blur of shock and misery. I couldn’t sleep, or eat. Edvin was the centre of our world, it didn’t feel right without him in it.
While we grieved, detectives searching the Crawford Estate where we lived found two silver-handled kitchen knives.
They were discovered together, appeared to be from the same set.
And one had Edvin’s blood on it.
Investigators told us a group of around 12 youths had been on the estate at the time of the incident.
They said five of them had attacked Edvin and another young man – neither of whom were believed to have been the intended target.
It had been a case of mistaken identity.
My son had been murdered for nothing.
He was friendly and popular, didn’t have an enemy in the world.
Wasn’t involved in drugs or crime. He was just 19. His whole life ahead of him.
‘Someone must have seen something. Heard something,’ I wept to Edward.
Police investigated, tried to get to the truth.
But officers were faced with a wall of silence.
Some witnesses came forward, but nothing came of it.
October came and went, and Edvin wasn’t there to start his degree.
Fly the nest, take a step toward his bright future. Christmas came next. I couldn’t bear to leave Edvin out, so I set a place for him at the table. More months went by. The police did everything they could, made several arrests.
But their enquiries never got far, no-one was charged.
Every time I left our flat, I had to walk past the block where my son met his death.
I missed Edvin more than words could say.
So did Edward, and their six half-siblings from their father’s side.
Yet his killer remained free to live his or her life, like nothing had happened.
Edward and I joined Through Unity, a support group for families bereaved by homicide.
We spent the next five years visiting schools to talk to youngsters about knife and gun crime.
Hearing about Edvin, teenagers would leave with tears in their eyes. Seven years after his death, I moved to a new home, where I wasn’t constantly confronted with the memory of that night. And on 16 September 2017, it was 10 years since Edvin died. I wonder what kind of man he would have become. To mark the anniversary, detectives launched a fresh appeal for information to catch his killer, or killers. They’re offering £20,000 as a reward. And I’m begging anyone who thinks they might know anything to please come forward. Someone must know something. Please. There’s a killer out there. And until we have justice for Edvin, I’ll never find peace.
His whole life ahead of him
Brotherly love Edvin was close to his older brother Edward
Me and Edward much miss him so