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Mum of murdered Joe Whitchurch welcomes council plans to prevent further lives being lost

The mother of a teenager stabbed to death in Stapleford  has welcomed council plans to prevent further tragedies from happening.

Four first aid ‘bleed kits’ – which can be critiical in the minutes after a person is stabbed – were installed across the town centre on Saturday, September 4 after a resident’s fundraising campaign.

It coincides with Broxtowe Borough Council’s plans to install better lighting and mobile CCTV cameras at Hickings Lane Recreation Ground  – which is a hotspot area for drugs and anti-social behaviour.

flowers scaled
Flowers left outside Hickings Lane Recreation Ground after death of Joe Whitchurch

Lisa Kilkenny, 46, spoke out after 20-year-old Jake Rollinson was found guilty of mudering her son Joe Whitchurch following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Rollinson stabbed 16-year-old Joe at an address in Stapleford in the early hours of Boxing Day 2020 after a 24-hour drink and drugs binge.  Joe died three days later at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

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Lisa is in the process of setting up Joe’s World, an organisation aiming to bring concerned parents together and organise marches which show the area stands united against carrying weapons.

Police said Rollinson, of Hickings Lane, Stapleford, was a small-time drug dealer who had posed on social media holding a large knife and bundle of cash.

He admitted to stabbing former Nottingham College pupil Joe – but claimed he had acted in self-defence during an argument. Rollinson is now in prison awaiting sentence.

Mrs Kilkenny said Rollinson was a bully who preyed on teenagers in the area, using the sale of cannabis to reel them in.

She said: “I think he was a school bully and it developed into his adulthood.

“We did not realise the extent of his bullying. Joe would be at work, and he would constantly be messaging him. I think jealously played a part.

“Joe was popular and saw the good in everyone. Rollinson was a loner.

“But who would have thought he would do something like that? You don’t expect something like that to happen.”

She said Nottinghamshire Police had done “an amazing job”, but she now wants to ensure more work is done in the community to stop another life being lost.

“We now need to stop this ever happening again. I am hoping we can do a knife crime walk in Stapleford. There is so much knife crime at the minute. I see it on the news all the time.

“It affects everyone, and your lad could be out in the town, and it just happens.”

Mrs Kilkenny is working with the Chayah Project in St Ann’s to set up Joe’s World. The aim is to stop teenagers being influenced by people like Rollinson as well as provide a support network for parents.

joe whitchurch
Joe Whitchurch

Cllr Richard MacRae (Independent), who covers Stapleford North for Broxtowe Borough Council, is in favour of the project.

He said: “Drugs are a big problem, and it is not just starting to happen. It has been going on for years. We can’t stick our heads in the sand.

“Parents need to talk to their kids and schools need to accept there is a problem.

“This will be an organisation (Joe’s World) set up by concerned parents and we want to do all we can as a council.

“We have football and netball clubs in Stapleford and hundreds of kids are doing it but there are hundreds of kids that are not into that.”

Cllr Sue Paterson (Lab), who covers Stapleford South West at Broxtowe Borough Council, said four bleed kits were installed on Saturday, September 4, in the wake of Joe’s death.

Each kit, including tourniquets, is designed to keep an injured person alive until they can receive medical assistance from the ambulance service.

They will be based at the West End Club, Larry’s Bar, a fishing shop in The Vista and Select Convenience near Hickings Lane.

Fund-raising for the kit was carried out by local resident Sharon Hands.

Cllr Paterson said: “No one ever wants to have to use them but I think anything that can preserve life should be available. It is vital.”

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