London

Memorial service held in Brixton for stabbing victims

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Media captionYoung men who carry knives were invited to the memorial

A memorial service in south London celebrating the lives of four young people who died after being stabbed hopes to change the minds of people who carry knives.

The ceremony in Brixton is honouring Junior Nkwelle, Damilola Taylor, Edvin Johnson and Zac Olumegbon.

Organisers had invited knife carriers to the event to make them "think twice".

The memorial is being held at the New Testament Church of God.

Event organiser Pauline Miller said the aim of the Love2Remember memorial was to "refocus and ensure the defining images reflect their lives not their deaths".

She added: "I made a special appeal to those who have carried knives or thought about carrying knives to join us.

"Experience the grief but also the pride of the families as they remember the lives of their lost sons.

"I guarantee you will think twice about carrying a knife in future."

Mrs Miller said the stories surrounding the boys' death dominated what people knew about the individuals.

"Who remembers or even knew that Zac Olumegbon had spoken at a conference on youth violence the day before he died or that Damilola Taylor wanted to study medicine to help those with epilepsy because this was something dear to his heart as his elder sister suffered from it?" she said.

"Who remembers or even knew that Junior Nkwelle was a promising footballer who loved Manchester United or that Edvin Johnson was studying business and sports management and was a talented musician at the time of his death?"

Speakers at the memorial include the footballer Fabrice Muamba, Charles Bailey, founder of the Don't Shoot campaign, and former Scotland Yard Det Ch Insp David Michael.

They are also joined by the actor and director Noel Clarke, whose films Kidulthood and Adulthood deal with the subject of troubled youths and the issues that surround their daily lives.

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