On the 13 of September Sue Hedges and her family will remember the fifth anniversary of the death of her son Ricky Hayden, another victim of knife crime. The Hornchurch mum will never recover from the loss of her son and her family struggle every single day to cope with his death.
For anyone who does not know Ricky’s, he was not in a gang and was not a drug dealer as many people assume is the case with knife crime. He was actually asleep in a house he shared with his father and brother in Marks Gate, when he heard thieves attempt to take his brother’s moped. He went out to confront them and was attacked with a machete that ultimately resulted in his death.
Now, nearly five years on, his family try to move on from this horrific nightmare knowing that they will never be able to and that it is something they will carry with them for the rest of their life.
Sue told the Havering Daily:
“My family continue to struggle to accept the fact that he is gone. Our grief gets harder every year, it really is a nightmare for us.
“What makes my family and I angrier is the fact that my son’s life was cut short, cruelly taken away and yet his convicted killer and the other person involved with his death who was acquitted, will get a second chance of life. What about my son?
“Imagine what it is like to give birth to three children and have one brutally taken away from you like this. I will have part of my heart missing for the rest of my life. This pain never goes away, my family now only have memories of Ricky that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.”
Sue spends her time now attending anti knife crime events and talking to youths about the impacts of carrying a knife. She hopes that by sharing the horrific event her family have gone through and still go through everyday, she will deter others from going down the wrong path.
“I wish the youth of today would listen and realise just how big of an impact carrying and using a knife has on a family who have lost a loved one. I know there are so many families out there like my family who have experienced a loss like us and all I can say to them is that I share in your pain. You are not alone.”
Sue and her family are broken and will never recover from Ricky’s death. Yet, everyday another youth will be stabbed somewhere on our streets that will leave another family shattered.
She is thankful to the police who looked after her during her son’s trial, but critical of leaders who should have stepped up to the mark ages ago to deal with this epidemic.
“Where are our leaders? They should be here supporting us and putting an end to these horrors but they are not, they leave everything to the police.
“No more families should go through the pain we have been through.”