Nathaniel Shani’s family urges Andy Burnham to act on knife crime

Nathaniel Shani’s family urges Andy Burnham to act on knife crime
credit: manchestereveningnews

Greater Manchester (Parliament News) – The bereaved family of Nathaniel Shani have called for a discussion with Mayor Andy Burnham as they demand an effort to finally end the curse of knife crime. Greater Manchester has lasted a string of tragedies driven by stabbings over recent years, while crimes involving blades have risen nationwide.

Nathaniel was just 14 years old when he was pierced in an alleyway off Tavistock Square, in Harpurhey, on September 15 last year. Two boys, including one who confessed to stabbing Nathaniel, were sentenced for his murder.

What are the Demands of family?

In a heartbreaking message read following their sentencing, Nathaniel’s family expressed the pain they have tolerated in the months that followed the tragedy, forcing ‘sleepless nights’ and ‘uncontrollable tears’. Now the family has called for a discussion with the mayor of Greater Manchester to discuss their critical demands and calls for change, to make sure Nathaniel’s death is not in vain. They want to witness a total ban on knives being held on the street – with ‘no knife too small to generate harm or serious damage’.

The family also want to catch parents take responsibility and be provided ‘some control’ to ensure their children do not hold knives – or be held responsible. They also want to witness schools discuss information concerning children with the parents involved, in a bid to prevent violence.

“It’s time the authorities do more about knife crime,” the family stated. “It is our wish that the Mayor of Manchester grants us an audience to discuss these concerns further and in detail.

“More powers need to be given to police to pin down those carrying knives, prosecute and award longer sentences. Our plea is for everyone to say no to knives – no knife is too small.”

Is Greater Manchester Prepared to Combat Knife Crime?

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has reached Nathaniel’s family to express their condolences and endorse Mr Burnham’s willingness to meet them. Two boys who cannot be called for legal reasons – Boy A, 15, and Boy B, 14 – were sentenced.

Manchester Crown Court listened Nathaniel died following a row over Boy B having robbed cannabis from a friend of Nathaniel’s. Nathaniel and Boy A had assembled in the alleyway as part of a ‘fight to resolve differences’, with the pair having earlier ‘engaged in physical fights’, the court heard. Nathaniel encountered Boy A and Boy B at 6 pm on the day. During the conflict, Nathaniel hit Boy A, who produced a blade and stabbed him in the neck.

At trial, Boy A confessed to stabbing Nathaniel and stated he regretted doing so, but he refused murder and claimed he functioned in self-defence. Boy B, who had been armed with a screwdriver, was expressed to have ‘encouraged’ Boy A during the altercation.

Boy A was convicted of 13 years’ custody and Boy B was convicted of 10 years’ custody by the judge, Mrs Justice Ellenbogen, with both boys to stay on licence for life. During the sentencing, the judge stated: “That a boy of his age should have met his death by boys of a similar age is a tragedy – sadly it is no longer shocking.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.