LIAM TAYLOR MURDER: Petition calls for national remembrance day for youth violence victims
A WOMAN who says she turned her life around after being exploited through fear and violence into a world of drugs, living on the streets and homelessness, hopes to launch a national day of remembrance for victims of youth violence.
Luisa Di Marco, 46, has teamed up with the family of murder victim Liam Taylor, 19, (pictured above) from Chelmsford, who was stabbed to death outside The Rose and Crown pub in Writtle on January 31 last year, to try to get the day recognised.
On Wednesday at Chelmsford Crown Court Daniel Daden, 22, from Witham and Ryan Filby, 21, from Chelmsford, were found guilty of his murder and wounding with intent.
They will be sentenced next month.
The loss of the "loving teenager" has devastated his family.
Luisa said: "My reason for doing this is that youth violence is spilling out into communities in all areas of the UK and It is wrecking families and communities.
"The lives lost to knife crime and other youth violence related matters are not being recognised in an official capacity, or at a national level.
"Until those lost and their families left behind, are provided with the support of a nation standing behind them to support their loss, they are simply other statistics in a rapidly growing data sheet of deaths.
KILLERS: Baby-faced Daden (left) and scowling Filby (right)
"To recognise and accept this is wrong, at least provides a platform of national debate where authorities, agencies and the public can begin the necessary conversations around murder and manslaughter being committed by increasingly younger perpetrators.
"It appears to have become a culture to main and kill and that is something we need to be addressing urgently."
She launched a petition this week calling for September 25 to be the first national day of remembrance for the victims of youth violence.
The petition, which has 556 signatures, states: "We would like the UK Government to consider acknowledging victims and their families by endorsing September 25th as a national day of remembrance annually.
"The family of 19 years old, Liam Taylor, and in particular Liam's nan Julie, is joining me in support of this campaign.
"Liam's family have had to endure the pain of loss because of youth violence, and they want to support something that will make a difference to society and feel at least a degree of empowerment by at least having a day where theirs and the many thousands of others affected by the loss of a loved one are officially recognized nationally. A time to reflect and recognise the people lost rather than just statistics, and a time to raise awareness of the lives that are being destroyed by this issue."
Julie told Essex News and Investigations: "It is so important for us to have a legacy for Liam.
"You never expect your child or grandchild to be murdered in such an horrific way.
"Liam was just a normal kid and had done nothing wrong. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"I have got to do something where I can help other victims and I think to have a national day for all the families in the country would be amazing."
Luisa, who grew up near Braintree, in Essex, says she spent almost a decade living in care, on the streets and in temporary accommodation after her parents split when she was 12.
She had a middle class upbringing and lived with her mother then her father briefly she was 15, but ended up going into the care system after running away.
After turning her life around from 2012, she has now founded the organisation Keep it 100 Essex, which works with youngsters to helps them to lead positive and productive lives and avoid criminal activity by working to create more opportunities for them.
Through the organisation, she has arranged for the "Knife Angel'' - a 27ft sculpture made of 100,000 knives that have been surrendered to police forces across the country, to be brought to Chelmsford in September.
The Knife Angel tours the country to promote the surrender your knife message.