Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Murdered boy's family in peace plea

Jimmy Mizen's parents parents Barry and Margaret have campaigned against youth violence
Jimmy Mizen's parents parents Barry and Margaret have campaigned against youth violence
Barry and Margaret Mizen pose outside their cafe, the Cafe of Good Hope in south London, on the 5th anniversary of their son Jimmy's death

The family of murdered schoolboy Jimmy Mizen are commemorating the fifth anniversary of his death, just a day after they marked what would have been his 21st birthday.

Jimmy was killed on May 10 2008 - the day after his 16th birthday - after he was attacked in Lee, south-east London. Jake Fahri is serving a life sentence for the teenager's murder.

His parents Barry and Margaret, along with the rest of their family, will mark the anniversary of his death with a special memorial service at St George's Cathedral in Southwark, expected to be attended by family and friends, as well as some politicians.

Mr and Mrs Mizen, as well as son Danny, will speak at the service, and their son Tommy will sing a song he wrote as a memorial to Jimmy.

"I will be thanking everyone from the day this happened for their support which seems to be growing all the time," said Mr Mizen, 61.

"This is the love we are all capable of showing each other."

On Friday morning the family visited Jimmy's grave to lay flowers and pray. On Thursday they marked what would have been his 21st birthday as a family, with days off work and school for some, Mr Mizen said.

The family have set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation, which works to raise young people's awareness of the consequences of violence, and Friday also marks the start of a campaign dubbed #Jimmy21 - three weeks of action including sponsored challenges and community initiatives. The three-week campaign will culminate in a 21-mile sponsored walk across 21 London bridges, finishing on Tower Bridge.

Earlier this week, Mr and Mrs Mizen - who have also released a book, entitled Jimmy: A Legacy of Peace, to mark the fifth anniversary - repeated their calls for more to be done to combat violence in young people. Since Jimmy's death in 2008, the couple have refused to hate his killer, instead campaigning against violence and calling more to be done.

This week Mrs Mizen, 60, said: "We can't go on losing our children or our children killing our children. Somewhere along the line we have got to do something to stop it, and that means everyone standing up on this and working together for change."

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