Sheffield mum calls for tougher jail terms

Pictured at her Parsons Cross Home , is Lydnsey Mitchell, with her Children, Riley, & Brooke, Lydnsey's Partner of murder victim Damian Taff, who was stabbed by Drug dealer last Summer.
Pictured at her Parsons Cross Home , is Lydnsey Mitchell, with her Children, Riley, & Brooke, Lydnsey's Partner of murder victim Damian Taff, who was stabbed by Drug dealer last Summer.
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The heartbroken partner of a dad who died after being stabbed believes he would ‘still be here’ if his killer had been jailed for carrying a knife earlier.

Damian Taff – who had two children with Lyndsay Mitchell – was killed at the age of 29.

Drug dealer and crack cocaine addict Benjamin Grant fatally stabbed Damian with a lock knife during a fight on Swanbourne Road, Sheffield Lane Top, in September 2010.

He had 63 previous convictions – including one for stabbing a man in a row about a drugs deal, and seven for possessing knives in public.

Lyndsay, aged 28, of Parson Cross, said figures revealed by The Star which show police deal with 25 stabbings a week were ‘disgusting’.

She said: “There should be tougher sentences, and the first time people get caught with a knife, they should get sent to prison - not let off with warnings.

“If the one who killed Damian had been sent down – because his previous convictions were horrendous – he wouldn’t have been on the streets, and maybe Damian would still be here.”

Sheffield Crown Court heard about the previous convictions of Grant, of Follet Road, Parson Cross – which dated back to 1998 – during his six-week trial in 2011.

He is now serving a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years behind bars.

An appeal to have his conviction quashed was dropped last year.

Lyndsay said: “You hear about stabbings all the time now on the news. It’s about time these people grew up.

“The police need to do more as well - we hardly see any of them on the streets, especially in the areas where it seems to happen most.

“I think until you’ve been through something like this you don’t take on board how many of these crimes there are. Once it happens you hear every single piece on it.”