Father of Norwich murder victim urges young to ‘leave knife in drawer’
PUBLISHED: 08:45 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:21 22 September 2020
The father of a man who was murdered by a knifeman who just weeks earlier had been spared jail for possessing blades has called on young people to be shown around category A prisons to steer them away from crime.
David Hastings, 48, was knifed in his back, chest, neck and mouth as he walked away from Norwich’s Rose Lane car park with his girlfriend in the early hours of June 23 2018.
Rolands Heinbergs, then 23, was last year jailed for 28 years after a jury took less than an hour to convict the Latvian of murder following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.
Mr Hastings’ father, also called David, has spoken out after knife crime continues to rise.
Police figures show that knife and offensive weapon offences in Norfolk have increased by 23pc in the nine years from 261 2010 to 321 in 2019.
Mr Hastings said: “Every time we hear about somebody being stabbed and killed our hearts go out to the people who are left behind and have to struggle to try and put their lives back to some normality if this is possible.
“Even after two years the hurt is always there.
“I wish there was something that I could do or say to these people who think that carrying a weapon is Ok.
“It does not make you the bigger man.
“I wonder how many of these so called hard men are now sitting in their cells in a cat A prison for the next 25 plus years thinking if only?
“Perhaps it would do some of these younger people good to pay a visit to one of these prisons to show them that you are surrounded by people who are a lot harder and more vicious than you thought you were, and the boredom of the same routine year after year.
“If this is not enough think about all of the life that you will miss, because it will be to late when the gates of Belmarsh or any cat A prison open up for you.
“So leave the knife in the drawer and if you have a disagreement man up and have it out toe to toe.”
As previously reported it emerged Heinbergs, previously of Anne Bartholomew Road, Thetford, received a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, following the offences on May 7 2018, just weeks before the fatal attack.
Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has been contacted before about the decision but would not comment.
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