The founder of an anti-knife charity who lost her son when he was stabbed nine years ago is now mourning her murdered nephew.

Caroline Shearer, who founded Only Cowards Carry, has paid tribute to her nephew Luke Bellfield who died from a single stab wound to the heart in Old Leigh on Friday evening.

She campaigned against knife crime after her son, Jay Whiston, was murdered as a 17-year-old at a house party in Colchester in 2012.

She says her nephew’s tragic murder has been a reminder of what she went through nine years ago, and has vowed to “start up the fight again”.

Luke tragically died in an alleyway near The Peterboat. He was taken to hospital with stab wounds but died a short while after.

Caroline and her husband, Michael, have paid tribute to “well loved” Luke.

She said: “Luke was an outstanding member of the community.

“He was well-loved.

“He was doing his boxing and he was a very very much loved son.

“He had a bright future ahead of him.

“He was only 18 years old.

“I just hope my Jay was there to look after him.

“The tribute goes out to the family from Mick and I.

“We’re heartbroken for them.”

Caroline is now calling for better education on the impact using knives can have on the families affected as she “starts up the fight” again against knife crime.

Caroline added: “Everyone has got to be educated.

“People have to start realising what they are doing.

“It’s time to turn the tables. They can’t just keep ruining lives.

“They’ve not just ruined their lives they have ruined the lives of everybody in that family.

“It’s been very difficult for us to go back there.

“It’s one of the things you hate to say “I know what you’re going through”.

“I’m going to start up the fight again and we will get there.”

Anti-knife campaigner Paul Hannaford has now spoken to more than half a million children in schools across the country, including students in Southend schools, speaking first hand from his experience with knife crime, gangs and drugs.

Paul has been arrested six times in the past for carrying a knife.

He now works to educate children on how lives are ruined by being involved with knife crime and gangs.

Paul said: “I’ve been doing research for ten years and I have spoken to half a million children. I’ve also spoken to boys who have a life sentence.

“After talking to them I’ve asked if they had a knife crime workshop and none of them said yes.

“We’ve got to look at these wasted lives and ask questions about whether they were spoken to and educated.

“My school didn’t give anyone an opportunity to educate me.

“We will never stop knife crime but we can stabilise it with education.

“It’s fundamental that we educate these kids. It’s paramount.”