mylondon– The family of a “harmless, friendly” teenager who was stabbed to death on a night out in South London want stricter sentences for knife crime, and their campaign has been backed by Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst.
19-year-old Archie Beston, from Barnes, was out with friends in Kingston on Saturday, February 29 2020, when he was killed.
While out he saw a van being deliberately driven towards another 19-year-old on Clarence Street at 3.40am.
Tyrone Bryan was a passenger in the van, and after it was driven at the young man, Tyrone got out and fatally stabbed Archie.
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Bryan, 20, of Ely Court in Kingston, also stabbed the man who had been driven at, and he too required hospital treatment for his injuries.
Police officers and members of the public fought to save Archie’s life before paramedics arrived.
Archie was taken to hospital, but he tragically died there six days later.
Shortly after Archie’s death, a petition was made to bring in tougher sentences for knife crime, and create “a life sentence for a life lost”.
In the petition addressed to UK Parliament and the Criminal Justice System, organiser Morgan Evans said: “His [Archie’s] mother has been left childless.
“His family and endless amount of friends are now grieving for a boy who simply went on a night out with his friends.
“He was harmless, friendly and one of the warmest people you would ever meet. He had a smile that could light up a room. A whole community could tell you so many stories about how he made them smile, or laugh and how he contributed to their childhoods and lives in so many different ways.
“However, somehow the vile people who did this to him will continue to walk the streets in years to come, once their sentences are over.”
An investigation by Met Police detectives saw both Bryan and the driver of the van, Finlay Ahwan, arrested.
Bryan was found guilty of the manslaughter of Archie, and in October, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
He was also sentenced to three years imprisonment for Section 20 GBH on the second victim, and 18 months for possession of an offensive weapon. His sentences are running concurrently.
Ahwan, 21, of Worcester Park Road in Worcester Park, was found guilty of attempted GBH to the man who was driven at and dangerous driving. Ahwan was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Rance, who led the investigation, confirmed Bryan and Ahwan had previous convictions for offences including possession of a knife.
She described them as “pathetic and cowardly individuals” and said it was “a truly tragic case.”
What do you think needs to be done to tackle knife crime in London? Let us know in the comments below.
Archie’s family do not believe this is enough, and hope the campaign, ‘A Mother’s Pride’ will toughen sentences for knife crime in the future.
Posters urging ‘#JusticeforArchieBeston’ have been put up across the capital, from his hometown in South London to Havering on the edges of East London.
Celebrities have also started spreading word of the campaign.
Archie was a huge Only Fools and Horses fan, and Nicholas Lyndhurst, who’s own son Archie Lyndhurst died in October, has shared the campaign.
Writing on his Instagram account and linking the petition, the Rodney Trotter star said: “My heart bleeds. Help stop the killing of young innocent kids.”
So far 28,384 people have signed the petition. The next milestone target is 35,000.
Speaking shortly after the murder, Archie’s family said: “Archie was our whole world. He was loved by everyone who knew him. He was a family boy, so happy and he loved to enjoy life. He was sweet natured and popular, he had no enemies and always helped anyone.
“He planned to travel the world and go to Ibiza to work this summer – he couldn’t wait.
“Anyone who knew Archie would know that he has never been in any trouble or known to the police. He was so innocent, and tragically he appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
You can find more information about the petition here.