Ben: You couldn't imagine the sorrow and the pain
STABBING victim Ben Kinsella is the third teenager to die from a knife on the streets of Islington in the past 12 months.The 16-year-old was attacked almost a year to the day after 14-year-old Martin Dinnegan was killed.
STABBING victim Ben Kinsella is the third teenager to die from a knife on the streets of Islington in the past 12 months.The 16-year-old was attacked almost a year to the day after 14-year-old Martin Dinnegan was killed - and six months after fellow 16-year-old Nassirudeen Osawe was also knifed to death.
Tragically, Ben's death also came just days after Martin's grieving family and friends held a memorial service calling for an end to knife crime.
Lorraine Dinnegan, 41, Martin's grieving mother, said: "I couldn't believe it when Ben died. I was just devastated. The first thing that came to mind was those poor parents and family and friends. I just thought, 'Oh my gosh, another young boy like Martin. It's an unimaginable grief. You couldn't imagine the sorrow and the pain."
Like Ben, Martin's attack was also in Holloway, on the corner of Tollington Way and Axminster Road, after a row broke out with another group of youths. Over the past year, Martin's family and friends have campaigned for an end to knife crime. In the days after his death, Mrs Dinnegan and husband James, 43, of Evershot Road, Finsbury Park, led a hundreds-strong march from Martin's church to the scene of the stabbing. They also handed in a heartfelt letter calling for tougher sentences to 10 Downing Street.
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The Wray Crescent boys - the group Martin is said to have been friends with - also disbanded. And only last Thursday, on the anniversary of Martin's death on June 26 last year, about 150 people again walked to the scene - and then to a new memorial garden at Martin's old stomping ground, the Cornwallis Play and Youth Project in Cornwallis Road, Upper Holloway.Martin's friends, who had created the garden, showed off their handiwork while his sister Leanna, seven, released a white dove.
Richard Avis, 16, who lives off Holloway Road, Holloway, and who was there when Martin died, said: "The garden was to give us a place to sit and be able to remember him. You only get one life. It's important not to carry a knife. No-one expected this to happen."
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Martin's family was therefore left shocked by the news of another killing so soon after. Mrs Dinnegan said: "There should be a system where people who carry knives go straight to prison. There has been enough teaching and publicity and education to know that carrying a knife is wrong but they are still doing it - and still doing it to these young boys who have their whole future ahead of them. It's probably been the main thing in the media over the past year and yet it's still happened. What is it going to take for these young people to realise? I don't know what it will take, but whatever they are doing it's not enough.