London

Oxford Street stabbing: Mizen 'not shocked' at killing

The father of a boy killed in 2008 has said he was "not shocked" that a fatal attack took place during the Boxing Day sales in London's Oxford Street.

The threat of jail was not deterring young people from carrying weapons, said Barry Mizen, whose son Jimmy died at a bakery in Lee, south-east London.

He said politicians from all parties must work together to focus on turning around the lives of young people.

Eleven people have been bailed over Monday's attack on Seydou Diarrassouba.

The 18-year-old was stabbed to death after a fight began in the Foot Locker sports shop near Bond Street Tube station.

Scotland Yard said a 16-year-old, three people aged 17, five aged 19 and two who were 22 had all been bailed until mid-January.

Less than five hours after the killing, a 21-year-old was stabbed in the thigh at Oxford Circus, a short distance further along Oxford Street, but survived the attack.

Nobody has been arrested over the second stabbing and police have not said if the two cases are connected.

'Fantastically harsh'

"The perpetrator of this crime needs to be identified, found guilty, sent to prison," said Mr Mizen, referring to the killing of Mr Diarrassouba, who came from Mitcham, south-west London and who was stabbed once in the heart.

"I don't believe that deterrents, such as longer prison sentences, stop things happening," he told BBC London 94.9.

"Yes, they put the people away, but it doesn't stop the next one doing it, and the next one, and the next one.

"I don't think that this idea that we set really harsh punishments will stop it happening."

Image caption Jimmy Mizen was murdered in a bakery in Lee three years ago, at the age of 16

He used the United States as an example, saying there were "fantastically harsh sentences, but there's still a lot of crime and people dying".

"All it does is take that one perpetrator out," he added.

Mr Mizen said he disagreed with a government plan for mandatory jail terms for 16- and 17-year-olds in England and Wales who threatened people with knives.

"We need a consensus across the three main political parties about the whole issues of how young people grow in this country, what they're subjected to, and bear in mind some of these young people have awful lives," he added.

In 2009 Jake Fahri, 19, from Lee, was sentenced to life in jail and told he would serve at least 14 years for murdering Jimmy.

A charity - the Jimmy Mizen Foundation - has been established in the teenager's memory, along with a Cafe of Good Hope in Hither Green, south-east London. The foundation aims to help young people play a positive role within their communities.

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