Knife vigil in memory of Sheffield murder victim

Joe Walker
Joe Walker
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A vigil is to be held in Sheffield after the fatal stabbing of Joe Walker to highlight knife crime.

The event, still in the planning stages, is being organised by the Drop the Knife, Get a Life campaign group, which aims to draw attention to the dangers of carrying knives in the hope of saving lives.

The murder of 23-year-old Joe in the city last year is behind the vigil.

Cheryl Robertson, the Sheffield coordinator of the Drop the Knife, Get a Life campaign group, said: “I have six children and I fear for them with the climate we live in, so I feel we all have a duty to try to do something about knife crime.

“Everyone needs to work together on this issue because it is huge.

“Knife crime does not discriminate – there is no set profile of an offender or victim, it could be anyone.

“Our campaign is about educating people and working with others to try to address the root causes of knife crime, of which there are many, but we have to start somewhere and this vigil is about raising awareness and making people realise the dangers of carrying knives.”

Joe, from Intake, was stabbed to death when violence flared at a party at a flat on Waltheof Road, Manor, last September.

He had punched 17-year-old Jimmy Connors when the pair clashed outside, and ran off after realising a knife had been brandished.

But Connors, of Atherton Road, Arbourthorne – who already had a conviction for carrying an extendable baton in a public place – was among a pack of yobs which chased Joe and brought him down on grassland, where he was kicked.

Connors then plunged a kitchen knife into Joe’s back and walked off leaving his victim for dead.

He was described as ‘happy, elated and proud’ after the attack, and later claimed in court that he had lashed out in self defence after somebody else put the weapon in his hand.

But jurors didn’t believe him and he was jailed for life, and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars.