Family of murdered schoolboy Reece Tansey say Snapchat killers jail time will 'never be long enough'

Report by ITV News Correspondent Elaine Willcox

The family of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in Bolton say stronger sentences are needed to stop the 'epidemic in knife crime.'

Reece Tansey was killed in May 2021, after he was stabbed six times with a kitchen knife following a fight, arranged over social media, with two boys the same age.

After stabbing Reece, one of the boys boasted about his crimes by sending a picture of the blood-soaked murder weapon over Snapchat.

The 15-year-old victim was captured on CCTV running for his life and used his last breath to name his killers.

On Friday, 21 January, the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were jailed.

Boy A was sentenced to 15 years for murder, while Boy B was sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter - but Reece's mum says "it will never be long enough."

In their first broadcasted interview, his mum, Laura Tansey, and auntie, Sam Barnett, have spoken of their "disgust" at Reece's murderers' sentences.

They believe tougher punishment is needed to stop young people arming themselves with weapons.

"Our kids are scared to go out", Sam said. "I've told my daughters, you think in your head they have a knife in their pocket because that's the way the kids are going about."

Reece's murderer sent a photo, via Snapchat, of the murder weapon, which was sent to Sam's daughter.

"I don't get it, I really don't", Sam said. "The pain, the heartbreak, everything is just so devastating - everything."

"Reece was our boy", Sam said. "He was funny, he was a little joker, he looked after his mum. He didn’t deserve any of this at all. None of us did."

They believe Reece's killer, who were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Friday, deserve longer jail sentences.

"What is Reece’s life to 15 year and six years?", Sam asks. "What did his life mean for that? Reece’s life was not worth that. The laws need to be changed."

Greater Manchester's Violence Reduction Unit says they need parents, teachers and young people to talk about issues, to stop them escalating.

Inspector Paul Nolan told ITV Granada Reports: "Share that information with us you are not a coward, you are not a grass.

"We are here as a community to support you and we will act to prevent that violence."

"Devastating. Everyday watching Laura", said Sam.

"She's just been a broken woman. Sometimes I see a little smile on her face, a sparkle in her eye, but she's not how she used to be."

Reece's family are now backing the campaign to get knives off the streets. 

They also want Reece's killers - who are too young to be publicly identified - to be named, which will be decided in court next month.

Reece Tansey was killed in May 2021. Credit: Family photo

The family has spoken as investigations continue in both Stretford and Barrow after two teenagers were allegedly stabbed by other youngsters. 

Kennie Carter, 16, died after being attacked in Greater Manchester, while a school pupil from Barrow, set upon and stabbed in his own school, is now recovering at home. 

Greater Manchester Police are encouraging people to anonymously drop knives in one of 13 amnesty bins dotted around the region.

Below is a map showing the location of your nearest bin. These are here throughout the year and knives can be deposited at a convenient time for you.

13 amnesty bins are dotted around Greater Manchester. Credit: GMP