Kettering man’s memory lives on in Knife Angel sculpture

Gill Veysey with the Knife Angel sculpture.
Gill Veysey with the Knife Angel sculpture.

A Kettering man who died after being stabbed 12 times will be remembered as part of a huge sculpture.

The Knife Angel, a piece of art by Alfie Bradley made out of 100,000 surrendered weapons, is currently on display outside Coventry Cathedral.

The Knife Angel.

The Knife Angel.

Some of the blades are inscribed with names of those who lost their life to knife crime - including Kettering man Darren Glen who was killed in 2009. One knife includes Darren’s name and date of birth with the message “always in our hearts”.

Darren’s mum Gill Veysey went to visit the 8m high sculpture, which took two years to make, on Mother’s Day (March 31).

She said: “To have a lasting memorial is so nice.

“I want it to be seen as a statue of peace so that people look at it, reflect and think about what this crime does to people.”

Darren Glen was stabbed and killed in a frenzied attack. NNL-190304-000440005

Darren Glen was stabbed and killed in a frenzied attack. NNL-190304-000440005

The sculpture was made at the British Ironworks Centre with all 43 police forces giving them surrendered weapons to make it.

The artwork, called the National Monument against Violence and Aggression, aims to bring to light just how bad knife crime and violence is in the UK and how something needs to change before it’s too late.

Gill said more needed to be done around prevention and criticised the closure of Sure Starts and youth service funding cuts across the country.

She said: “There needs to be places for them go to, there’s got to be something. They’re just hanging around in the streets joining gangs.”

Since Darren’s death Gill has worked with police forces and agencies to tackle the issue and says she is willing to go into schools to explain the impact knife crime has.

She is also trying to reform sentencing laws for manslaughter and murder.

Darren’s killer, Denim Denver Rainford, admitted manslaughter and was jailed for 10 years but served half in custody.

Gill said: “There shouldn’t be any half sentences when you’ve killed somebody.

“We’re still in pain but he’s been walking the streets for five years.”

Gill has created a petition over sentences for manslaughter and murder which can be viewed here.

She urged youngsters to think about the pain they could cause families by using a knife.

She said: “There has got to be change and if I can highlight it by explaining my pain and my family’s suffering then I will do so.

“People who carry knives and commit these crimes need to know that when they stab and kill somebody they deny a whole lot of people their final goodbyes.”