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Convicted murderer leads anti-knife campaign with film to be shown in schools

A convicted murderer is leading a police anti-knife campaign from prison by featuring in a film to be shown in schools. Credit: BPM Media

A convicted murderer is leading a police anti-knife campaign from prison by featuring in a film to be shown in schools.

Sadam Essakhil talks about the consequences of carrying a weapon as part of the campaign being run by West Midlands Police.

Essakhil was aged just 15 when he and a friend murdered a 24-year-old man and seriously injured another, with a knife taken from his kitchen drawer in Handsworth, Birmingham, in May 2015.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years.

It's believed to be the first time a UK police force has filmed with a killer behind bars for a campaign of this kind.

The film will be shown in Midlands' schools in attempt to change the culture of some young people who think it’s acceptable to carry a knife.

In the interview Essakhil, now aged, talks about how many young people face getting involved with the ‘wrong crowd’, prioritising friends over family and feeling the need to carry a weapon for protection.

He also says the consequences of using a knife can be devastating for many people's lives.

Essakhil said: "The reason I carried a knife that evening was for my own protection. There was no intention on that day to go out and hurt anyone. The victim wasn’t known to me and I sincerely regret what I did on that evening and always think about the victim and his family as they will never get to see him again."

"We see the tragic effects of knife crime far too often; the devastation that it causes so many people is truly heart-breaking."

"While officers work hard with young people, we understand some do not want to listen to what we have to say. Sadam’s message is powerful and I hope will provide some emotive thoughts and conversations amongst young people."

"We’re committed to reducing violent crime across our region and we’ve worked closely with the prison service, who we’re extremely grateful to for allowing us to interview Sadam and share his experiences in the hope that we can change behaviours and stop people carrying weapons."

"Lukasz Furmanek, aged 24, lost his life in May 2015, during a reckless act that lasted around 30 seconds. His mother is still struggling to come to terms with her loss, but is fully supportive of the campaign and said: "If I was to influence someone with my words, I would like them to think 10 times before they cause hurt to themselves and to other people."

"We must do more to prevent further victims and I hope this video, which will be delivered to all secondary schools in the West Midlands, helps to do that."

– Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro

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