Don’t set my son’s killer free

Family and friends of murdered school boy Sam Brown mark his 21st birthday with the unveiling of a new headstone at his grave
Family and friends of murdered school boy Sam Brown mark his 21st birthday with the unveiling of a new headstone at his grave
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A DEVASTATED mother whose beloved teenage boy was brutally stabbed to death, today pleaded with prison authorities: “Don’t let my son’s killer go free.”

Heartbroken Pat Brown has endured five years of pain and anguish since 16-year-old Sam (right) was killed yards from his Grange Park home in May 2007.

Sam Brown

Sam Brown

Killer Thomas Knowles, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, is now up for parole in December.

On the day Sam would have turned 21, Mrs Brown was joined by family and friends to pay tribute to the former St Mary’s High School pupil.

And she called for Knowles to remain behind bars.

Mrs Brown said: “They should keep people who commit crime like this behind bars.

“If they take a life they should be behind bars for life. He pushed the knife in to Sam, this wasn’t an accident – in my eyes it was murder.”

Knowles, then 19, who also lived on Grange Park, admitted Sam’s manslaughter in the run-up to his murder trial, and the plea was accepted by the prosecution.

He was subsequently jailed for a minimum of six years back in 2008.

Mrs Brown hopes she will be allowed to attend the parole hearing and give a statement stating why she believes Knowles should stay locked up.

She said Sam’s family and friends would never get over his death.

Dozens gathered at Carleton Crematorium to celebrate what would have been Sam’s 21st birthday.

Mrs Brown said: “It (the attack) seems like yesterday.

“I don’t think for the first three years it even registered Sam had gone.

“Last thing at night and first thing in the morning he is on my mind, as soon as I open my eyes I’m still there on the floor with him, with his head in my arms, dead.

“I don’t think any of us will ever come to terms with it, even his friends, it’s just so sad because he was so lovely.

“Sam was loved by everybody. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body.”

Sam was a popular pupil at St Mary’s and a large group of friends turned out to release balloons and lay flowers to mark his birthday.

A new headstone was also unveiled on Sam’s grave, while a plane circled overhead trailing a banner (top) which read: “Happy 21st Sam Brown, we miss U.”

Mrs Brown added: “It means the world that everyone has come down, it just shows they’ve not forgotten.

“I know his friends haven’t forgotten, they are there every Christmas and birthday, it’s bittersweet to see them. I always wonder what he would be doing now if he was still here with us. He would have a good job, he was a good, pleasant boy.”