A touching childhood picture of knife crime victim Ben Kinsella and his actress sister has been released 15 years after his death.

Ben was stabbed to death by three teenagers in North Road, Islington, on June 29, 2008, while he was celebrating the end of his GCSE exams.

The Holloway School student was 16 at the time and was in the former Shillibeers Brasserie Bar when a fight broke out, resulting in his death.

His sister Brooke Kinsella, a former EastEnders star who played Kelly Taylor, said: “Fifteen years on, I am still so heartbroken at the violent and unnecessary loss of such a beautiful boy and the ripple effect it had on so many.

“I am thinking of my family, Ben’s friends, the wife he might have loved, and the children he might have had.

Islington Gazette: Flowers left at the scene in 2008 where Ben Kinsella was murderedFlowers left at the scene in 2008 where Ben Kinsella was murdered (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

“I am even more heartbroken that we haven’t succeeded in making this world a safer place, a place where 16-year-old boys can make it home to their beds.

“It can be hard to keep going but I made a promise to my brother all those years ago and I will do all I can to keep it. We will never give up in the fight against knife crime.”

She will celebrate her son Ben’s first birthday on Thursday (June 27), the day her brother died.

The Kinsella family set up anti-knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust in the wake of his murder, and to date the organisation has worked with 30,000 young people directly and more through online courses to divert them away from knife crime.

Islington Gazette: George and Deborah Kinsella at the funeral in 2008George and Deborah Kinsella at the funeral in 2008 (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Ben’s parents, Deborah and George, said: “We would like to say that it gets easier with time, but it truly doesn’t.

“We will always wonder what he would be doing in his life now, who his wife would have been, and we would have loved and adored our grandchildren he would have given us.

“Instead we go to the cemetery to visit our Ben and the grief is still as strong as it was from the day he was taken from us, it never goes away.”

Ben Kinsella Trust chief executive Patrick Green said knife crime is worse than ever in the UK.

“Our biggest concern is the continuing rise in knife crime across the country,” he said. “It has risen by 46% in the last decade and is spreading like an epidemic.

“Once we would have considered it a big city problem, but that is changing. It is now escalating quicker in towns and areas which 10 years ago were immune to knife crime.”

In April the Home Office launched a consultation on plans to ban so-called zombie knives and machetes that have no obvious practical purpose, and tougher sentences for those caught selling knives to under-18s.