As Michael ‘Angel’ Graham’s family mark two years since his tragic murder, exclusive figures show teenagers are ditching knives and blades in what has been dubbed “Angel’s legacy”.
Fresh tributes were this week paid to ‘Angel,’ as his loved ones once again mourned the 19-year-old who was stabbed to death on Scarborough seafront in April 2013.
His mum has used the anniversary to make an emotional call for youngsters to ditch knives altogether, so that no mother has to face the same anguish.
“It would be great to think that his death has done some good somewhere,” said Dorothy.
Her comments come at the same time a Scarborough News probe has revealed that in the year before Angel’s death, knives and even nunchucks were found on children as young as 12.
But since Angel was brutally murdered, the number of deadly weapons confiscated by police on youngsters walking Scarborough’s streets has plummeted.
Last year, just one youngster was found in possession of a bladed article.
But our figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that only half the youngsters arrested since 2012 for possessing a weapon have ended up before the courts.
Police cautioned the other half, and Dorothy said that anybody caught in public with a weapon should feel the full force of the law.
One person who didn’t escape justice was Michael’s “cowardly” killer Macauly Jenkinson, who was jailed for at least 16 years for stabbing his rival 12 times in the back.
Jenkinson was aged just 16 when he murdered Angel near the Olympia Arcade in front of a gang of youths, some as young as 14.
He later boasted of the killing in a confessional text message to his girlfriend, which read ‘Stabbed Angel 12 times. Love you loads xxx’.
The cold blooded attack not only deprived Dorothy of her son, but also robbed
Angel of the chance to watch his young son grow up.
Maxy, now two, laid flowers at Scarborough Crematorium this week in memory of the dad he will never know.
And on a Facebook page set up in memory of Angel, others close to the tragic teenager paid their own unique tributes to him on Tuesday to mark two years since he was taken from them.
One friend finally got the tattoo they’d hoped Angel would have inked for them, while his cousin revealed she is expecting to give birth to a daughter on his birthday.
And others paid heartfelt tributes on The Michael ‘Angel’ Graham Foundation Facebook page. “No one will ever forget you as you left such a big hole in everyone’s heart,” wrote Debbie Graham on the public page, while Kaylee Gordon added: “God only takes the best ones.”
But despite being “overwhelmed” to realise just how popular her son was after his untimely death, those tributes won’t bring Angel back for Dorothy.
And as she talks of her family’s struggle since Angel’s death, she has issued a strong warning to any teenagers thinking of picking up a knife to settle a score.
“Think again, just don’t do it,” she said. “If you are thinking about picking up a knife, think about all the lives you could ruin, as this has ruined all of our lives.
“You have to think of all the people that you will make them leave behind, as Angel has a son and he’s never going to see him grow up now.
“He has a son and he’s not going to see him grow up because of a knife.”