Knife that killed Jack Woodley on Wearside to be banned under new laws on zombie knives and machetes

  • Watch Tom Sheldrick's report.

The Home Office has told ITV News the type of knife used to murder 18-year-old Jack Woodley will be included in the Government ban coming into force in September on zombie style knives and machetes.

Under the new measures, first announced by the Prime Minister last year, it will be illegal to possess, sell, manufacture or transport zombie-style knives and machetes as part of a crackdown to tackle knife crime.

For Jack's mother Zoe McGill, it is a long time coming - though she is concerned the new legislation does not cover all knives.

Jack was stabbed to death by 10 teenagers in Houghton-le-Spring in October 2021 using a 25cm long, Rambo style blade.

The knife used to kill Jack Woodley. Credit: CPS

He was making his way home from Houghton Feast on Wearside when he was attacked by the group of then 14 to 17-year-olds. He died in hospital a day later.

All 10 defendants were convicted of murder after a 78-day trial under the Joint Enterprise - a law which means that someone commits an offence and is assisted or encouraged by others to carry it out.

Ms McGill told ITV Tyne Tees: "Maybe it's just because I'm a mother whose lost a child and had to go through burying him, sitting with him, and watch him die, is that why I think they way I do? I don't know.

"But why's it took this long? Why do people feel the need to carry a knife?

"Young people are walking around with them like they do their mobile phones.

"So yeah it's a really good result, a positive step in the right direction.

"There are knives, some that are more dangerous than others, such as those ones, so if they're not going to cover them all, what's the point in bringing the ban in?"

Ministers argue that they have targeted their legislation at the knives that police say are the most prevalent and will ensure that not only those with threatening words or images are banned.

Labour has committed to go further in tackling knife crime with the party unveiling their own £100m youth programme plan to prevent knife crime and identify those at risk of becoming involved.

Yvette Cooper MP, who met Jack's mum last year, said: "The Government's plan goes nowhere near far enough and it's just too little too late.

"It doesn't include ninja swords, it doesn't include a whole series of dangerous weapons, and the penalties also aren't strong enough, they're been promising this ban on zombie knives and it's still not going to come in until the autumn".

New figures from the National Office of Statistics (ONS) show that more than 2,400 serious offences involving a knife were recorded in the North East in the year up to September - a 10 percent rise from the previous year.Total crime in the North East was also six percent higher than the previous year, with the Cleveland police force area recording the highest crime rate in England with 159 offences per 100,000 of the population.

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