South Shields campaigners back zombie-knife ban

Ban on the sale of zombie knives will come into force on Thursday.
Ban on the sale of zombie knives will come into force on Thursday.

The family of a teenager who was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday have welcomed a ban on the sale of so-called zombie knives.

Since the killing of Glen Corner, 10 years ago, his family have been working to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives.

Glen Corner

Glen Corner

Already they have been part of a campaign which saw a change in the sentencing of those convicted of carrying a knife, set up the Glen Corner Trust to support those affected by knife crime and taken part in community events in a bid to get their message across.

As of Thursday new legislation will see a ban on the sale, manufacture, rental or importation of zombie knives with anyone caught breaking the law facing up to four years in prison.

Zombie knives can be up to 2ft long with a serrated edge and are often sold as collector’s items.

However, it has become easier for people to get their hands on the bladed weapons over the internet.

Carrying a knife in public without good reason is already a criminal offence in the UK.

The recent ban has been welcomed by Glen’s family.

His grandmother Pat McDougall said: “This is absolutely brilliant they are doing this. It’s about time a law like this was passed.

“A few years ago to mark the fifth anniversary of Glen’s death we held a community event aimed at educating young people about the dangers of knives.

“As part of the event there was a display of some of the horrendous knives known to have been carried by people. - it really doesn’t bear thinking about the injuries those weapons could inflict or the lives they could claim.

“It’s great to see people wanting to do something to limit the ways in which people can get their hands on these weapons and hopefully reduce the number of needless deaths at the end of a blade.”

Glen was out with friends celebrating his GCSE results when he was stabbed to death in East Avenue in Harton.

The teenager had stepped in to protect a friend who was being threatened by a teenager armed with a knife.

Killer Lee Firman, then aged 19, was sentenced to life for his murder and was ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.

Mrs McDougall added: “Glen’s death is something none of us will ever get over, all we can ever do is just to learn to cope with it.

“Every day you think about him, what he’d be like now, what he’d be doing now. He had such a promising future ahead of him, but that’s all gone now.

“Any law which helps to take knives off the streets and makes it harder for people to get their hands on is definitely worth it.”

The ban applies to England and Wales and the legislation is expected to be introduced in Northern Ireland.

Anyone with information on those selling zombie knives or anyone in possession of one contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.