Essex

'Amazing support' at Jay Whiston anti-knife walk

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Media captionJay Whiston's mother Caroline Shearer has campaigned against knife culture

The mother of a 17-year-old boy stabbed to death outside a house party says an anti-knife parade in Essex received "amazing support".

Jay Whiston, 17, from Clacton, died last September during a girl's 15th birthday party in Colchester.

His mother Caroline Shearer led the anti-knife march through the town on Saturday.

A minute's silence was held for those who have died in knife-related incidents.

'Not the Bronx'

Those taking part in the march included police officers, schoolchildren, friends of Jay and people who had survived knife attacks.

Ms Shearer: "We want to raise awareness of weapons on our streets, enough is enough.

Image caption Jay Whiston died in hospital after he was stabbed outside a party in Colchester

"It's like a gang culture. They think they're from the Bronx or Detroit, but they're from Colchester and surrounding areas.

"This isn't the Bronx, it's a lovely peaceful town but we need to clean the streets up."

She said the family had attracted thousands of supporters on a campaign website and had the support of local schools.

Holly Fairburn, Jay's sister, said: "We are doing this to try to educate children, to change their mindset.

"I've got two young children and I don't want them growing up in this sort of society, where people think it's acceptable to carry a weapon."

She said she felt "numb" since Jay's death but events like the anti-knife walk helped.

'Punctured lung'

Carl Craig, who took part in the walk, spoke to Mrs Shearer and the BBC about his experience of knife culture.

He said he had been stabbed 13 times when he was set upon by a two men in Colchester.

"They punctured my lung, split an artery in my chest and I'm lucky to be here today."

The party at which Jay was stabbed was held at a house in Marlowe Way to celebrate a girl's 15th birthday.

A provisional post-mortem examination showed he was killed by a stab wound to the heart.

Seven people are currently on police bail in connection with Jay's death.

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