Shaquan Sammy-Plummer’s mum Jessica: ‘My mission to educate children about knife crime’
- Credit: Archant
Finsbury Park mum Jessica Plummer lost her son, Shaquan Sammy-Plummer, to a blade in 2015. She tells James Morris why it’s necessary for her to discuss his horrifying story with future generations.
As Brooke Kinsella points out, it’s not just her family campaigning against knife crime. Plenty of other Islington families have gone through the same, unbelievable pain of losing a loved one to a blade, and are trying to do something about it.
Jessica Plummer, who lives off Isledon Road in Finsbury Park, is still mourning the senseless murder of her son, Shaquan, three years ago.
She responded by setting up an anti-knife crime foundation in his name and now visits schools to tell his story.
“It’s not easy,” she tells the Gazette, “to be reminded constantly of what happened to Shaquan. But as long as I’m educating children, I don’t really mind. I look at them as if they are my own kids.”
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In January 2015, Shaquan was stabbed to death by Jemal Williams in Enfield. Williams was holding a house party, which Shaquan was invited to, but was subsequently turned away.
Williams demanded Shaquan hand over a bag of sweets and drinks he was holding. Shaquan, who was nearing the end of his A-levels and planned to go to university, refused. So Williams picked up a knife and stabbed him in the chest.
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In April 2016, Williams, then aged 20, was given a life sentence – serving a minimum 24 years – after an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of murder.
Of the foundation, which has recently spent time speaking to young people gathering at the Nag’s Head in Holloway, Jessica continues: “The way I look at it is that some children are lost, and trying to find themselves. I want to try and help them.
“I go into schools asking children to think about their life. The pain I continue to go through with losing my son, I don’t want anyone else to go through. Whatever I can do to help, I don’t mind.
“I still suffer. I still go through pain every day. Not only did it affect my family, but friends and neighbours also. It still feels so sensitive. And I keep reliving it every single day, when I hear about more children getting stabbed.
“I’m from the West Indies. It’s totally different there. So often in London I see children not respecting their elders, or not respecting other people. My focus is to engage children. It’s like they say: it takes a village to raise a child. We have to stop children making the wrong choices.”