Manchester Evening News

It shouldn’t take a celebrity for us to get action



THE grieving mother of a boy stabbed to death at 16 has criticised the government’s announceme­nt of new legislatio­n to ban ‘zombie-style’ knives. Kelly Brown said it ‘should not take a celebrity’ to prompt ministers into action.

Actor Idris Elba, 51, who has campaigned for the banning of machetes and so-called zombie knives, said the government’s latest crackdown announced yesterday is a ‘step in the right direction.’

Fresh legislatio­n was being laid in Parliament yesterday in order to close what ministers have described as a ‘loophole’ within an existing ban on the weapons.

Previous attempts to ban the knives have defined such blades as having threatenin­g images or words on them.

The new law will mean blades without any logos will also be recognised if they have other key features, such as a cutting or serrated edge, the Home Office says.

This is the government’s third attempt at banning the blades since 2016 and campaigner­s, including Idris Elba, have expressed concern that other weapons such as swords are still not included in the legislatio­n.

Yesterday Kelly Brown, the mother of Rhamero West, who was stabbed to death in Old Trafford aged just 16, in September 2021, welcomed the government’s announceme­nt, but said it should have come ‘a lot sooner.’

Kelly, 47, from Fallowfiel­d, told the M.E.N: “It should not take a celebrity for action to be [taken].

“I appreciate everything he’s doing for us but it really should have come from us grieving mothers and families around knife crime. I’ve heard it will take another eight months for this to come into play. They can ban XL bullies within three months and we have to wait another eight months for something to be done, so how many more lives are going to be taken with these knives? It feels like our kids’ lives don’t matter.”

She said she welcomed the new legislatio­n, adding it was ‘better late than never.’

“I just wish it would have been done a lot sooner to save more lives,” said Kelly, who now campaigns against knife crime after setting up Mero’s World, a foundation in her son’s memory. It has opened a youth club in Fallowfiel­d and secured 49 ‘bleed kits’ including bandages and tourniquet­s which have been placed in locations across Greater Manchester. victim Rhamero West (inset)

Kelly, who has another son, 26, said: “It’s two years on since he passed away. I can honestly say although people always say things get easier, they don’t. It gets harder.

“But you just come up with a coping mechanism for you to get through. There are a lot of different hurdles that come your way.”

She said it was only in September when Rhamero’s clothes were returned to her by the police, another reminder of a traumatic event. She wrapped them up in a bag and put them with the rest of his clothes which she has kept at her home.

The youth club she has set up in Fallowfiel­d helps 20 children each week, aged seven to 16.

“One hundred per cent it helps the kids. It keeps them off the streets and gives them focus. It provides lots of different activities like kick-boxing and life skills. It just lets the kids be kids in there,” she said.

The new law won’t come into effect until legislatio­n has been scrutinise­d by parliament and to allow people to take advantage of a knife surrender scheme, a spokesman for the Home Office confirmed.

Rhamero, the nephew of former Manchester City star Shaun Wright-Phillips, was chased down by a ‘pack of wolves’ before he was fatally knifed on Norton Street.

Marquis Richards, 17, Ryan Cashin, 19, and Giovanni Lawrence, 20, were jailed after being found guilty of Rhamero’s murder.

 ?? ?? Kelly Brown, mother of stab
Kelly Brown, mother of stab
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