Bereaved mothers of Yorkshire knife crime victims open up about their losses

  • Video report by Lisa Adlam

Three mothers whose sons were stabbed to death have been spoken out about the impact of their losses.

The three women, from Yorkshire, spoke to ITV News about their experiences as part of an investigation into knife crime in the wake of the high-profile Huddersfield murders of Khayri McLean, 15, and Harley Brown, 17.

Ryan Theobald was 20 when he was stabbed after a fight broke out between his friend Janis Kozlovskis, 17, and another man during a night out in Doncaster town centre in January 2022.

The incident escalated after Amrit Jhagra, who was 19 at the time, pulled out a knife and got involved, stabbing both of them.

Ryan was left lying on the street, and died at the scene. Mr Kozlovskis later died in hospital.

"I still think he's going to come through the door," said Ryan's mum Lisa.

"I know he's not coming back."

After Jhagra was jailed for 24 years for their murders, later increased to 26 years, police released CCTV footage of the attack, which Lisa has watched.

"He slashed him down the face, and then straight in the heart, and then he ran after Janis," she said.

"I've seen it all in slow motion. I had to watch Ryan lying on the floor dying."

"I'm still think he's going to come through the door": Lisa Theobald's son Ryan was killed last year. Credit: ITV News

Ryan's murder came almost two decades Tyrone Clark, 16, was attacked by a group of 20 people and stabbed to death in Beeston, Leeds in 2004.

His mother Lorraine Fraser said the grief was "just unbearable".

"I didn't want to live anymore," she said. "It ripped my community, it ripped me as a mother, it ripped my family, his friends."

"It had a ripple effect on everybody."

Four people were eventually convicted of Tyrone's murder under "joint enterprise" laws, although many of the other people involved have still not been found.

Lorraine Fraser campaigned against knife crime for years after the death of her son, Tyrone Clark. Credit: ITV News

But the ripple effect Lorraine describes is not just limited to the families and friends of the victims of knife crime, according to Kelly Hubbard.

"It's hard for me to say this but even the families of the boys that did it, their parents must be in absolute turmoil," said Kelly, whose 20-year-old son Bradley Gledhill was killed in an unprovoked attack in Batley, West Yorkshire, in June 2020.

"They've got to live with what their sons have done for the rest of their lives too."

Six men between the ages of 18 and 24 were given life sentences for his murder, with their combined minimum terms totalling 109 years.

Six men were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Kelly Hubbard's son Bradley in 2020. Credit: ITV News

All three women are concerned about the direction knife crime is going in, and the ever-decreasing ages of the people involved.

"When do you start checking to see if you've got your knife?" asked Lisa Theobald. "Kids at nine years old are taking knives out."

"I just can't understand it."

"It's our children that are dying on the streets, and it hasn't got any better, it's got worse," said Lorraine.

Kelly says it's a "sad thought" that she's "not alone" in being a bereaved parent at the hands of knife crime.

"It shouldn't be happening," she said.

Addressing those who might already carry knives or be thinking about carrying one, Lorraine, a long-time knife crime campaigner, pleads with them not to follow that path.

"I beg you, put it back," she said.

"Don't do it. Don't take someone's life. Don't get involved.

"Walk away."

(L-R): Bradley Gledhill, Ryan Theobald and Tyrone Clark Credit: ITV News

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