Stevenage mothers join justice march in memory of dead sons

AS they prepare to take part in a demonstration, two mothers whose sons were killed in separate acts of violence have received the backing of their MP in their campaign for tougher jail terms.

Stevenage residents Sam Owen and Sam Faulkner will join a march organised by Families Fighting for Justice in London on Saturday, and lobby Government for tougher jail sentences.

This is the second time the two mothers have marched together at an event organised by the campaigning charity.

Ms Owen’s son, Christopher Owen-Jones, died after being attacked just off Broadwater Crescent in Stevenage in November 2007, aged 19.

His killer was jailed for four years and nine months for manslaughter. He was released from prison last month, having served two years.

Ms Faulkner’s 20-year-old son, Christopher, died from a single stab wound to the chest in King George V Playing Fields in Stevenage in April 2008.

His killer was sentenced to eight years for manslaughter.

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The two mothers met with Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, this month, and he has backed their fight for a tougher justice system.

“I agree with Families Fighting for Justice, that life should mean life for first degree murder of innocent victims, and we need much tougher sentences for manslaughter,” he said.

“Listening to the experiences of those whose children’s lives has been taken from them, and the devastating impact it has had on their families, is heartbreaking.

“Account needs to be taken of not only the loss of the life of an innocent victim, but also destroying the hopes and dreams of their families who have lost a loved one.”

Ms Owen said: “We are both really pleased with his response, which shows understanding.”

She said she feels let down by a British justice system which is “too soft”.

“People aren’t being given tough enough sentences,” she said. “There needs to be a deterrent.”

Protesters taking part in the march will meet at Temple tube station at 1pm on Saturday, with the march starting at 2pm, and finishing near Westminster.

For more information, visit www.familiesfightingforjustice.com

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