Knife plea after Suffolk stab murder

THE heartbroken uncle of stab victim Lewis Watson has called for tougher sentencing on knife crimes.

Russell Claydon

THE heartbroken uncle of stab victim Lewis Watson has called for tougher sentencing on knife crimes.

Duncan Tuhey believes knife crime will continue to be rife until harsher penalties and more rigorous education about carrying blades is introduced.

It comes after Andrew Rowlands was yesterday sentenced for the murder of 23-year-old keen fisherman Lewis, from Foxearth, near Sudbury.

The cold-blooded attack in Sudbury on September 26 shocked the usually peaceful market town.

Now Mr Tuhey, 39, who is the landlord of the Prince of Wales pub in New Street, Sudbury, is backing calls for a mandatory six-month jail term for anyone carrying a knife in public, as is currently being put forward in Scotland.

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“I thought something like that would be in place already,” he said. “If there is not any deterrent then people are going to keep carrying them. I absolutely back that.”

Mr Tuhey backed the recent two week police and council campaign aimed at stamping out knife-crime in Sudbury, which saw 195 potential weapons handed in and landlords like himself searching people on their doors with metal detecting wands.

“I do not know how it has got into people's minds to do this, but it has got to be taken out,” he said.

Of his nephew's murder, he said: “Nothing is ever going to bring Lewis back, but a crime of this nature should carry a minimum of 25 years and it is nowhere near that at the moment and I am sure the public will want that. I cannot see any good this person (Rowlands) is going to be to society.”

He also told of the devastating effect the incident has had on the whole family, who live in Sudbury, Long Melford and Glemsford.

“It has knocked them for six,” he said. “It has been awful for me personally, it is still total disbelief something like this could happen.”

Mr Tuhey said Lewis was “the last person” he would have ever expected to get into a fight.

“He was very quiet,” he said, “he was the sort of person you would think this would never happen to. He was a real placid guy, not confrontational at all and you would hardly know he was there.

“It was the last thing you would expect to happen to someone like that. Other people you could have said they had had a few beers and were a bit loud and boisterous, but he was not like that and that is why it did not make sense to me that that happened to him.”

Since the tragic incident in September Mr Tuhey has regularly sat down for a drink with Lewis' friends in his pub and recalled their memories of the builder who loved the relaxing atmosphere of a day's fishing on the banks of the River Stour.