Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Impassioned Plea to Stop Knife Crime; Man Stabbed Friend While Already on Bail

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Impassioned Plea to Stop Knife Crime; Man Stabbed Friend While Already on Bail

Article excerpt

Byline: Hilary Clixby

ATEENAGER already on bail for a knife attack when he stabbed a former friend to death in a street confrontation has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

Tony Blades was awaiting trial for stabbing a rival in the arm when he plunged a knife into Anthony Blakelock's chest last September - after challenging him to a fight in a late-night phone call.

The 19-year-old, of Luke Crescent, Murton, County Durham was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter in March after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was yesterday jailed for 12 years with a five-year extended licence for the killing and a concurrent seven years for the earlier unrelated offence of wounding Richard Dowse with intent.

Passing sentence, Judge David Hodson acknowledged the impassioned plea made by Anthony's father Philip Blakelock to combat knife crime.

The judge said: "In the past I have had occasion to comment on the frequency with which knives are carried and used.

"Often as in this case, there are terrible consequences for innocent victims and their families and the sooner young people in general and boys and young men in particular, realise the risks they are running and stop carrying weapons the better.

"I have read the very restrained, dignified and moving statements of Anthony Blakelock's family. Philip Blakelock urges all young people to think before they carry a knife. Might I add my own small voice to the heartfelt plea of a devastated father." In a statement read to the court, Mr Blakelock's grieving mother Susan Lormor said her life had been "torn apart" by the death of her son whom she described as a "loving caring person who touched the lives of so many." And she said she believed he would still be alive if Blades had not been bailed after the previous attack in Murton in September 2007 - when he used a kitchen knife to stab Mr Dowse in his upper arm through a car window after smashing the glass. …

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