Mum of murdered Jack Woodley hopes "there is no repeat of the barbaric events of 2021" as Houghton Feast returns
The mum of murdered Jack Woodley has urged the authorities to ensure there is “no repeat of the barbaric events of 2021” as the Houghton Feast returns on Friday.
Jack, 18, was fatally stabbed after he left the event last October and was attacked by a group of teens who were "out looking for serious trouble".
His 10 killers were handed jail sentences adding up to 124 years back in August at Newcastle Crown Court, which included a minimum of 17 years for the 15-year-old who inflicted the fatal wound by stabbing Mr Woodley in the back.
The annual event is set to return this year and will run between Friday, October 7, and Sunday, October 16.
Zoey said she wants action taken "to ensure the 2022 Houghton Feast will be a safe environment for residents and visitors alike and more importantly there is no repeat of the barbaric events of 2021."
She added: "I hope to see stronger police presence in and around the Feast, police officers with sniffer dogs and a zero tolerance approach when it comes to policing.”
She also hopes other precautions, including an improvement to private security and the need to revoke alcohol licences from any shops found selling drink to under 18s, are put in place.
Councillor Kevin Johnston, Chair of the Houghton Feast Steering Committee, said: “Houghton Feast is a well-established and very popular community event which is enjoyed by thousands every year.
“We are continuing to work closely with our partners in the police and emergency services to help make sure that all those attending this year’s event have a safe and enjoyable time.”
Northumbria Police say there will be a police presence at the Feast later this week.
Chief Inspector Neil Hall, of Northumbria Police, said: “We know many are again looking forward to the Houghton Feast, a community event which attracts people not only from the local area but also further afield.
"We have continued to work with and support our partners to help ensure those attending can do so safely. We will also have a presence in the area and we would encourage people to engage with our officers. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time.”