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Burton murder victim’s mother calls for harsher knife crime penalties

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

Connor Upton, Niki Dyche and Paul OÕSullivan

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THE mother of a Burton man who was murdered in a knife attack has welcomed moves to toughen punishments for people caught with blades.

Yvonne Upton, who lives in Stapenhill, spoke to the Mail after it was revealed that MPs backed a move to impose mandatory jail terms on any adult convicted in England of a second offence involving a knife.

Knife crime has been a hot topic in Burton since the murder of her son 21-year-old Connor Upton in June 2010 outside Merlin’s nightclub.

The father of two was stabbed to death by George Lawrence, who was armed with a knife during his night on the town.

Mrs Upton said: “While I welcome any change that moves to clampdown on knife crime, I still think more than be done to combat the problem.

“I still would love to see mandatory jail sentences for all knife crimes, but the proposed changes are a step in the right direction.

“I believe the natural root to putting an end to this problem is via education.

“We need to be working with youngsters in secondary schools and making these issues and how to deal with them part of the curriculum.

“I also think that people who have to carry a knife for their work should be made to hold a licence to prove that they should have a knife on them.

“I hope changes like this will one day mean other families will not have to go through what we did.”

Staffordshire Police responded to the issue of knife crime in Burton by launching Operation Centurion to crack down on blade-carriers.

The Mail has reported a number of prosecution cases against people caught carrying knives into town centre night spots.

A pub and nightclub banning scheme was even set up in Burton to stop people with knives.

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