Heartbroken mum of Jack Woodley gives stark message on knife crime as youths are sentenced for killing her 'blue-eyed boy who wanted to make his mam proud'
The mum of a teenager murdered by ten youths at a funfair has shared a powerful message on knife crime after 10 killers of her ‘blue-eyed boy’ who ‘wanted to make her proud’ were handed jail sentences adding up to 124 years.
The 15-year-old who inflicted the fatal wound by stabbing Mr Woodley in the back was detained for a minimum of 17 years.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC sentenced the other nine defendants, aged between 14 and 18, to minimum terms of between eight and 15 years’ detention.
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“It puts out a message to other people, if you’re going to involve yourself with this kind of thing, whether you’ve punched, kicked, held someone [down], you’re a murderer,” she said.
"Don’t carry a knife. Don’t put yourself in that position where you could possibly use it and don’t just think because you’ve been with the people carrying the knives that you can’t be prosecuted, because you can and Jack’s case has proved that.”
Zoey described her son as ‘cheeky but charming’ as she told of her pain at losing her ‘blue-eyed boy’ who was due to start a new job just days after he was killed.
She said: "Jack had had a few problems in his life which he had overcome, and things were looking up.
"He’d just applied to Amazon and got a new job there which was due to start the Monday after he’d died. He wanted to make his mam proud.”
Remembering Jack, she said: “He was cheeky but in a nice loving way, he used to light up any room you walked in, always joking and laughing.”
She added: "Jack hated to be serious, he would always make a joke or laugh about things in life rather than be down about it.
"He used to say ‘mum I want to go and live in a city and be free’, he loved to be free and liked to take every day as it came.”
Zoey told how spoke to Jack on the phone just minutes before he was attacked asking for money to go on his last ride at the funfair.
She added: “He seemed really happy on the phone, he was saying ‘mam it’s class’ but Jack did always like rides, he loved rides, lights things like that.
"The next thing I heard was a message and I remember being in shock and I think I hit my husband and dived up and ran for the door and I just kept saying to him Jacks dead, we need to go. I knew something was really wrong.”
Following the attack, Jack’s family arrived at the hospital and Zoey shared a photo of her son lying in a hospital bed.
She said: “I wanted to put the message out there as quickly as possible because I knew things like the Feast were still ongoing, kids were attending fairs and various things that were happening. So I wanted to put the message out there that this is what happens when your use or carry a knife.
"I wanted them to see, it’s not just one being stabbed, this is the effect, this is what Jack and we had to go through.”
Zoey says the sentencing hasn’t made a difference to her family but hopes it will help the next.
She added: “No sentence would make a difference but I think it will give a message to other kids and stop this from happening to another family.”