Remembering stab victim Kevin

Kevin Johnson's parents John and Kath with pictures of their son. Below, Kevin and fiancee Adele.

Kevin Johnson's parents John and Kath with pictures of their son. Below, Kevin and fiancee Adele.

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FAMILY and friends gathered to remember murder victim Kevin Johnson on the fourth anniversary of his death.

Twenty five of Kevin’s closest friends and family gathered at one of the popular 22-year-old’s favourite pubs, the Wavendon, off Chester Road, to celebrate Kevin’s life.

Kevin Johnson with partner Adele Brett  copy pic

Kevin Johnson with partner Adele Brett copy pic

Dad John, of Ryhope, said: “We go there with friends and family for a meal every year and it’s a nice way to celebrate Kevin’s life.

“There was also about 30 to 40 messages left on Facebook so he is still well remembered.”

Kevin was stabbed to death outside the Pennywell home he shared with his fiance Adele and son Chaise, now four, after confronting a rowdy trio outside.

Jordan Towers, 16 at the time, Dean Curtis, 19, and Tony Hawkes, 17, were all jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court for his murder.

After his death, John and his wife Kath launched a campaign to put a stop to soft sentencing and toughen up punishment for those caught carrying knives.

They handed over a 35,000-strong petition to Downing Street and have joined forces with other bereaved families across the country to lobby the government, including the parents of 11-year-old Rhys Jones who was shot dead in Liverpool in August 2007.

John, 59, said: “Three quarters of people caught with knives are just getting let off and they are supposed to be getting up to four years in prison.

“I’ve always said to get round the problem is a three-pronged solution. Education, deterrent and sentencing.”

In a bid to stamp out the problem, John has teamed up with Sunderland police and has been visiting schools to talk about the dangers of knife crime.

He said: “On Fridays I’ve been going into schools with the police to talk to the kids about knife crime.

“For the last three weeks, we’ve been at Venerable Bede school and when I’ve been talking you could have heard a pin drop so I hope it’s working.”