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Colchester: Hundreds take to streets for Only Cowards Carry march against knife crime

The Only Cowards Carry anti-knife march taking place in Colchester High Street.

The Only Cowards Carry anti-knife march taking place in Colchester High Street.

The families of six murder victims joined together yesterday in a show of solidarity to share the message that “Only Cowards Carry”.

The Only Cowards Carry anti-knife march taking place in Colchester High Street.The Only Cowards Carry anti-knife march taking place in Colchester High Street.

More than 300 people took part in the Only Cowards Carry march down Colchester High Street on Saturday.

It was lead by Caroline Shearer who set up the charity after her son, Jay Whiston, was stabbed to death at a house party in Colchester in September 2012.

During the anti-knife walk, the 17-year-old’s mother, from Clacton, was joined by James Attfield’s mum, Julie Finch, and his sisters. James, 33, from East Bay, was found seriously injured with more than 100 stab wounds in Castle Park on March 29 and died at the scene.

Mrs Shearer said: “Six families who have lost relatives to knife crime came together for the march and the support was just amazing.

“James Attfield’s mum was so strong and she is in the early stages of numbness but everyone cheered when they found out she was there.

“Knife crime is becoming more prevalent on everyone’s minds and we’ve got to keep going until it stops. It might not stop this year or next year but the sooner the education programme is there, every young child will be aware from a young age on the dangers of knife crime.”

She was also joined by Nicky Humphrey, whose daughter Kirsty was killed by her former partner in her Colchester home,

The other families included Ann Wilson, whose son Ian was stabbed to death in Clacton in 2007 and Wendy Orton, from Clacton, whose fiance was killed in an East London pub.

Dad Paul Dove and step-mum Tanya Whitney, travelled from Hemel Hempstead in memory of their son Billy Dove.

Mrs Shearer added: “More and more people are coming together and we are all living the same life now having lost a loved one to knife crime. It’s not a nice life but we are not on our own.

“The walks are never just in memory of Jay. They have always been for everyone. It’s a show of solidarity and we just hope to make a difference.”

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A teenager who claims she was plied with drink and drugs by a gang of Ipswich men before they allegedly took it in turns to have sex with her has admitted she was “out of control” in the months leading up to the alleged incident.

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