Birmingham & Black Country

Christina Edkins: Mother of Kyle Sheehan calls for knife crime action

Kyle Sheehan
Image caption Kyle Sheehan was stabbed while trying to protect a friend outside a party in Birmingham on 21 September 2012

As a homeless man admits the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Christina Edkins on a Birmingham bus, the mother of another teenager who was stabbed to death has called for more action to combat knife crime in the city.

Kyle Sheehan, 16, died after being stabbed in the leg outside a party in Bartley Green in September 2012.

His friend Joshua Ribera, 18, was killed almost a year later at a memorial event for Kyle.

Kyle's mother Hayley Sheehan said she wanted parents in the city to lead the fight against knife crime.

'Come together'

"Look at the consequences of what's happened. My son's gone, his friend's gone, all the other kids who have been killed by knives have gone," she said.

"Their mothers are in the same pain I'm going through now. No mother should have to bury their child.

"All mothers have to come together. We have to do something to stop these kids killing each other."

According to figures released by police, knife crime in Birmingham dropped by 25% between April 2011 and 2012.

In 2012-13 there were 1,615 knife-related incidents in the city, although police said over the past six years knife crime had fallen by 63% across the force area.

However, West Midlands Police said the killings of Azim Azam and Joshua Ribera within a few days of each other last month had "rocked communities across the city".

Azim, 16, from Billesley, was found collapsed in the street after getting off a morning rush-hour bus in Moseley. A post-mortem examination revealed he died from a single stab wound to the chest.

The force said combating knife crime was a priority and that as part of its Knives End Lives campaign officers routinely visit schools and use metal-detecting "knife wands" on patrols in some areas.

Homeless Phillip Simelane, 23, from Walsall, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Christina Edkins at a hearing in Birmingham Crown Court earlier.

Christina was stabbed while on her way to Leasowes High School in Halesowen on 7 March.

A post-mortem examination found she died from a single stab wound.

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