A HEARTBROKEN woman whose grandson was stabbed to death in broad daylight is urging the public to back a campaign to increase the sentences of those found carrying knives.

Leo Marcus was just days away from his 23rd birthday when he was robbed at knife point and attacked in Woolwich, south London, six weeks ago.

The hard-working bricklayer, described as a loving and kind grandson, tried to defend himself but was stabbed ‘multiple times’ and died in hospital after five hours of surgery.

His grandmother Elsy Robson, from Andover, Hampshire says the tragedy has rocked their family and she is now urging residents of Andover to back a petition to increase the minimum sentence for those found carrying knives.

Elsy said: “I am an Andover woman, born and bred. My children grew up here but spread their wings and moved away. It’s not in my nature to beg but this has brought me to a whole new level so I am imploring those to please back this petition.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Pictured: Leo Marcus Pictured: Leo Marcus

Speaking about knife crime, she said: “It is a virus and it’s something that is gripping our country at the moment and it doesn’t feel like anywhere near enough is being done.

“This is a crisis and we need to act before more people lose their loved ones.”

Describing Leo, she said: “He was just a lovely, lovely boy who was loving and kind to his family. He was never in trouble. He was just at the start of his life.”

With the incident happening just six weeks ago, she said the family was still in shock. “Our family is in complete and utter distress and turmoil, I can’t even begin to explain the pain we are in.
“You will never get over something like this. They say that time heals but this is never something you can come to terms to with.”

Leo had been living in London when he was attacked. His mother, Elsy’s daughter Elizabeth, who had grown up in Andover moved to Greenwich before Leo was born.

The family moved to Cheshire amid fears of rising crime but Leo returned to the capital a few years ago to live with his father.

The petition Elsy is seeking support for would see the criminal justice system recognise the act of carrying a knife as equal to illegally carrying a firearm.

The petition reads: “There has been a 33 per cent increase in knife crime since 2011, it is clear that there needs to be serious consideration for the punishment for those carrying offensive weapons.”  

Sharing the petition online, Elsy said she has already had a positive response with more than one hundred people signing it.

She wrote: “We as a nation have to come together to fight this knife crime virus and we have to do it for those who’ve lost their lives and fight for those who will definitely lose their lives in future because this is not going to stop. We must make it stop.”

To sign the petition, visit: https://bit.ly/2MzMmo5