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Mother of Stefan Appleton: ‘Life without him is indescribably gut-wrenchingly painful’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:34 19 May 2016

Stefan Appleton. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Stefan Appleton. Picture: Metropolitan Police

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The mother of tragic Stefan Appleton said “a light has gone out in our lives” after his teenage killer was jailed for life.

Blaise Lewinson must serve a minimum of nine years after being sentenced at the Old Bailey for Stefan Appleton's manslaughter. Picture: Metropolitan PoliceBlaise Lewinson must serve a minimum of nine years after being sentenced at the Old Bailey for Stefan Appleton's manslaughter. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The boy, 17, can be named as Blaise Lewinson, of Roseleigh Avenue, Highbury, after an order protecting his identity was lifted.

Last month, Lewinson was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of Stefan’s killing in Nightingale Park, Canonbury, on June 10 last year.

Stefan, of New North Road, Canonbury, had just turned 18. He was stabbed by Lewinson with a machete and collapsed in Caldy Walk.

Following the trial, Lewinson, who claimed self-defence, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. He will serve a minimum of nine years. Lewinson’s co-defendant who transported him to the park, also 17 and from Islington but who cannot be named, was cleared of murder.

In a statement released by police on Tuesday, Stefan’s mother, Jenny, said: “That night will stay with us for the rest of our lives, for all the wrong reasons.

Stefan Appleton's smile 'lit up everyones lives'. Picture: Appleton familyStefan Appleton's smile 'lit up everyones lives'. Picture: Appleton family

“To lose a child aged only 18 by such a needless action from an individual, I cannot understand. Only God knows. We didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye. A light has gone out in our lives.”

She said her son’s smile and sense of humour “lit up everyone’s lives” and added: “We can tell you all truthfully, and without a doubt in our minds, that Stefan was a kind and gentle person.

“People often comment on those who have passed, ‘they were so kind’ and ‘such a great person’, even though it may not always be 100 per cent true. If you asked anyone who knew what Stefan was like, they would tell you that Stefan really was the best of the best.

“I take great comfort in the many people – school teachers, neighbours and parents of his friends – who have come to me to tell me of their love for Stefan and his kindness, calmness and friendly ways.

“We have to try to build a new life. We miss him every hour of every day. We ache for his presence in our lives. It is more indescribably gut-wrenchingly painful than any words can tell.”

Stefan Appleton was stabbed to death in Nightingale Park, Canonbury, in June last year. Picture: Ken MearsStefan Appleton was stabbed to death in Nightingale Park, Canonbury, in June last year. Picture: Ken Mears

A keen footballer, Stefan supported Liverpool and played for the Chapel FC boys team in Market Road. He had a girlfriend, while his sister considered him “his best friend and right arm”.

Sentencing Lewinson on Friday, Judge Richard Hone said: “You have been assessed, correctly, as posing a high risk of violent and psychological harm to your peers and a high risk of reoffending.

“The risk by anyone prepared to do what you did that day is fully evident.”

The court also heard he has fought with other prisoners at Feltham and thrown liquid at prison guards. Judge Hone added: “You have shown no true remorse.”


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