Grieving mum urges weapon ban

THE mother of a young man who was killed in a stabbing last year called on youths to solve their problems without weapons.

THE mother of a young man who died after being stabbed last year has called on youths to solve their problems without weapons.

Anthony Parkes died last November after a row outside a chicken shop in Harlesden with his co-defendant in a robbery trial.

Twenty-year-old Parkes was accused of being a ‘snitch’, by Kemal McLeary who is now serving a minimum ten-year sentence for manslaughter.

On Saturday, Anthony’s distraught mother Carol Gordon organised a sponsored walk from the scene of the crime, Park Parade, in Harlesden, to Willesden Green Baptist Church, where her son spent his last days helping out with services and youth work.

Ms Gordon said: “I have to do something in his name otherwise he’s just another statistic. He was changing his life round. The only reason he got involved with Kemal was because he had a music studio. Anthony got caught up in this robbery and realised where he had went wrong and wanted to tell the truth and lost his life because of it.

“You can’t solve a dispute with a knife. How does that solve a dispute?”

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She hopes to raise enough money from donations to open a music studio named after her son to help keep young men off the street and doing something positive.

The talented music producer had tried to raise funds for a studio from the Princes Trust but didn’t hear back.

Childhood friend, Peter Sylvester, 20, of Wembley, who took part in the walk, said: “It’s terrible when we are killing are brothers and sisters. We need to put the weapons down. There are too many lives being lost. Some people just carry them for their ego, to look the hardest. It’s just about impressing their peers.”

Paul Akinola, the Pastor at Willesden Green Baptist Church, said: “It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Young people need to learn how to speak their mind without violence. And the older people must ask themselves what sort of role models are we. Anthony’s father left 15 years ago and we lived with the consequences of broken families.”

He said: “To them everyone seems to be enjoying life and they are always struggling and they are angry but we need to get them to channel their anger positively so they don’t become a victim.

Sometimes it’s the girls who radicalise the boys. They don’t want mummy’s little boys, they want the tuff and cool boys but when the trouble comes it’s the boys who are there.

If they say they are at university or have a job, the girls are not interested.

We have a club at church on Fridays where we try to encourage them to go back to school or learn a trade.

Anthony was bringing his friends. He had a challenged background but he was coming through.”