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Friends and family of stabbing victim march against gang crime

Published 17/06/2016

A protest took place ahead of Lewis Elwin's funeral
A protest took place ahead of Lewis Elwin's funeral

Friends and family of a 20-year-old student who was stabbed to death in the street have marched against knife and gang crime in his memory.

Trainee electrician Lewis Elwin was stabbed in the back in Tooting, south London, in front of horrified parents picking up their children from school.

Scores of mourners gathered in Penwortham Road, where Mr Elwin was killed, on Friday to take part in a march before his funeral.

They carried anti-knife and gang placards and wore T-shirts bearing his name and picture as they walked along the street behind the funeral procession.

Mayor of Wandsworth Richard Field and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who was elected Tooting MP in the early hours of Friday, both joined the protest.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who lives nearby, also attended the funeral at St Boniface Church, Tooting.

Mr Elwin's older brother, Byron Douglas-Letts, said: "Lewis was loved by so many people.

"This (protest) is what needs to happen as a community.

"Youths need to be given something to do, give them something to be passionate about and a job they can be passionate about."

He added: "Lewis was very, very determined and aspirational. He was a loving, caring guy.

"Sometimes he made wrong decisions but that doesn't mean he should lose his life."

He added: "We have all been young before and understand how difficult it is finding yourself but you're not alone and there are opportunities."

Mr Elwin was training to become an electrician at college.

"I'm a qualified electrician and he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his big brother," Mr Douglas-Letts added.

Mr Elwin's coffin was carried in a white horse-drawn carriage covered in flowers.

Floral tributes, photographs and messages carpeted the pavement where he died on April 18.

Family friend Nina Petrie said: "Young people please put down your guns, please put down your knives - life is for living.

"Gangs are not your family - gangs are prison and death."

Another friend Noel Williams said: "I think it's important to remember Lewis for his inspirations and where he wanted to go in life.

"He was a young man trying to change himself for the better."

A 19-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder and police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information can call police on 020 8721 4005, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The charity is offering a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the killer or killers.

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