Sunderland dad tells of pain over murdered son + VIDEO

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“IT gets harder every year” – Those are the words of John Johnson, five years on from the death of his son, Kevin.

Those are the words of John Johnson, five years on from the death of his son, Kevin.

John Johnson in his Ryhope home five years after his son Kevin was killed in Pennywell.'Kevin Johnson

John Johnson in his Ryhope home five years after his son Kevin was killed in Pennywell.'Kevin Johnson

On May 19, 2007, the dad-of-one was stabbed to death just yards from his Pennywell home, in Partick Road, after confronting a rowdy trio of teens.

Speaking on the Echo’s website John, 61, of Ryhope, said: “It doesn’t get any easier as time goes on, it gets harder over the years. The pain will never go away.

“We still expect him to walk round the corner or to be sat in the house waiting for us, and there are so many reminders all the time.

“His favourite TV show will come on, a song on the radio will remind us, when it’s sunny I think we’d be putting on the barbecue now.

“He was a fantastic son, a hard worker and a great dad. We’ll never see him again.”

On Friday, John, his wife Kath and about 20 friends and families gathered at the Wavendon pub for food and a few drinks to remember Kevin.

On Saturday, John added a special rose arch to the memorial garden at their home.

“Every year, we have something to eat and drink at the Wavendon in Kevin’s memory,” John said.

“We’ve also built a memorial garden with a cross and angels in the back and we add to that each year as flowers don’t last and this does.”

John added that five-year-old Chaise, Kevin’s son with his fiance Adele, is a beacon of light in their lives.

“He’s growing up so fast and he’s the spitting image of Kevin. He’s wonderful and we love spending time with him.”

In 2008, Dean Curtis, who was 18 at the time, Tony Hawkes, who was 17, and Jordan Towers, 16, were all given life sentences for the murder, with minimum terms of 17, 16 and 13 years in prison.

Towers, of Ford Estate, has being fighting his conviction, with all his appeals to date failing.

In the wake of the trial, John launched his Enough is Enough campaign, calling for life to mean life in prison.

He collected thousands of signatures backing his bid and presented the petition to 10 Downing Street.

“I’ve been campaigning for life to mean life. Why should convicted murderers have freedom when our Kevin has got nothing?

“I’ve also been fighting for a mandatory prison sentence for people carrying knives to act as a deterrent and I will carry on campaigning for these things.”

Twitter: @sunechochief