Caroline Shearer, mum of fatally stabbed Jay Whiston, meets a convicted murderer

Caroline Shearer,right, meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May last year.

Caroline Shearer,right, meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May last year. - Credit: Archant

A Clacton mother who set up an anti-knife crime charity after her son was murdered has had an emotional meeting with a prisoner serving a life sentence for a fatal stabbing.

Caroline Shearer, founder of Only Cowards Carry, met the prisoner at the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston’s annual conference.

Her son Jay Whiston, 17, was killed at a Colchester house party in September 2012.

She met the offender – not responsible for the death of her son – after he spoke about his work while behind bars to try to stop others reoffending.

Mrs Shearer asked him questions during the open session, and then they continued the conversation afterwards.

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Afterwards she said: “Every day is hell for my family.

“My heart wonders if I’m betraying Jay by even speaking with convicted prisoners. My head says that we must do everything we can to change attitudes and prevent young people from getting involved in reckless and dangerous lifestyles.

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“The single most important thing is to prevent senseless tragedies such as the murder of Jay from happening again.”

The prisoner told Mrs Shearer he he realised how badly he had let himself and others down through his actions.

Mr Alston said: “Mrs Shearer has shown exceptional courage in speaking to the murderer. The meeting is a powerful demonstration of the importance of bringing people from all backgrounds together to understand how tragedies happen and how we can prevent them in the future.”

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