Mother of knife victim speaks out

2 February 2017, 05:48 | Updated: 2 February 2017, 05:51

knife amnesty

Two years ago on Thursday (2 February) Julie Liddicott from Bellfields tragically lost her son, Daniel Sommerville, 24, when he was stabbed by Nathaniel Johnson.

Johnson, 24, was sentenced to 23 years in prison after Daniel died in hospital after suffering a stab wound to the chest at the junction of Aldershot Road and Worplesdon Road in Stoughton following an argument between the pair.

Julie has been left with a life sentence of her own as she struggles to carry on for the sake of her other children, and is keen to support the Surrey Police knife amnesty in memory of her son.

“I know that Nathaniel will get out after 23 years, he will have lost all that time but he will still be able to get on with his life,” said Julie. “I’m living a life sentence, it’s something I’ll never get over and I have to deal with every day, as do all his friends and family. Something that happened in a split second has affected the lives of two families as Nathaniel’s family have also had to live with what he’s done.

“Until you are actually affected by knife crime in this way it’s not something you think will ever touch your life. You see it on TV and read about it in the press but I never dreamt that I would lose one of my children in this way. It’s really hard to put into words exactly how I feel.

“Lots of people have knives at home that they’ve somehow collected over the years – flick knives, butterfly knives etc that they don’t know how to dispense of. Putting them in the knife amnesty bins is a great way of doing this but I understand that some people are intimidated by the fact that they’re going into a police station. I collected knives from my local area myself and took them to Guildford police station last weekend. It’s so easy and no questions will be asked.

“People do not need to carry knives. What happened with Daniel was an argument that got out of hand. Nathaniel chose to leave his house that day carrying a knife which he then grabbed in a fit of anger. Had he not had it on him then this would not have happened. When you go out with a 9” kitchen knife, what do you think is going to happen? It’s dangerous for your own safety walking around with a knife like that. What if you were to fall and hurt yourself? It’s just not worth it.”

The Surrey Police knife amnesty has been extended until Monday, 13 February. Knife bins can be found at Reigate, Guildford, Woking and Staines police stations. People can put their knives and blades in the bins without fear of prosecution.

“People ask me how I get through every day and the answer is because I have to,” added Julie. “I have to get on with my life because that’s what my son would have wanted. He would want me to carry on and get the message out there in order to stop this happening to someone else.  I’m hoping that by speaking out like this, if it stops just one person from taking a knife out with them then it will be worth it.”