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Liam Taylor


19-year-old Liam sadly died after being knifed outside a Writtle pub on a Friday night,  on

January 31, 2020.

Liam died at the scene, outside the Rose and Crown pub, from his injuries which included 2 stab wounds threw his heart.

The Liam Taylor Legacy has been founded in memory of Liam.


'It's my calling to stop knife-crime killers’

By Helen Burchell

BBC News, Essex

After her grandson Liam was stabbed to death, Julie Taylor was determined to give a voice to victims of knife crime. Now she is taking her message directly to convicted prisoners.

Liam Taylor was 19 when he was stabbed to death outside a pub in Writtle, Essex on 31 January 2020.

Police said at the time that the attack on Liam - known to his friends as Fish - was believed to be in retaliation for an assault on one of the defendants - but later confirmed he had not been involved.

Three young men were jailed for life in August 2021 for his murder.

For the Taylor family, life changed forever. Liam's grandmother Julie, 58 vowed she would not let his

death "be in vain".   Now, she says, she has a "new calling" - visiting jails to talk directly to prisoners convicted of knife crime.

"I go into these places as a victim; a victim of the result of knife crime," she says.

"They have to know that what they have done will affect their victims' families for ever - it will never end.

"I tell them that every crime has knock-on effects and I tell them how it has, and still does, affect my family - Liam's family.

"I tell them about driving to the scene when I first heard my grandson had been attacked, when no-one could tell me anything.

"I tell them how I knew something terrible had happened as I was ushered away. I didn't know he was dead. I didn't know he had been murdered

"But then, afterwards... I knew all of these things."

'I could see I'd hit a spot with them'

Ms Taylor started by campaigning to have emergency life-saving bleed kits installed in pubs and clubs across East Anglia and London, for which she raised more than £35,000.

She made her first prison visit to the privately-run Category B jail, HMP Thameside, in London, last October, encouraged to do so by other campaigners.

There she shared the story of her grandson's murder with a room full of prisoners, recounting personal and sometimes graphic details of his death - and the aftermath.

"I could see I'd hit a spot with them, and from that moment I knew this was something I had to do," she recalls.

Earlier this month she was invited to visit HMP Swinfen Hall, a Category C men's prison and young offender institution (YOI) near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

She spoke to two groups of prisoners, "and every one of them was in jail for either knife crime or murder involving a knife", she says.

Ms Taylor describes to the prisoners the trauma of having to identify her beloved grandson's body.

"And how, a long time afterwards, we sat with him in the chapel of rest and held his hand," she says.

"Of course, this was after the post-mortem and I didn't realise what I was going to see when I looked at him after the autopsy.

"I remember sitting with him, and saying to him, 'What's happened, Fishy?', but of course, he couldn't answer.

"When I explained this to these young men in jail, I could tell that really got to them.

"The people I speak to need to know that the families of their victims will never, ever be the same.

"I'm not sure they really'Keep on fighting through the darkness' think about it. Most are probably just getting on with their lives, albeit behind bars."

'Keep on fighting through the darkness'

Ms Taylor's efforts to raise awareness of - and try to halt - knife crime, have been recognised within her community.

One thing she did notice was that the inmates did not make eye contact with her.

"I don't remember anyone looking me in the eye, although afterwards one young man came up to me and whispered, 'Stay strong'," she remembers.

Her work has not been in vain.

A member of staff at HMP Swinfen Hall wrote to her shortly afterwards, praising her "bravery and resilience".

The letter also mentioned that while some prisoners could be "hard to reach", she had managed to "break down barriers" and create an atmosphere where many felt more able to "engage and be open and honest".

One of a number of letters written afterwards by prisoners themselves thanked her for "helping me on my journey" and urged her to "keep on fighting through the darkness".

She is not paid for the talks and workshops, apart from occasional travel expenses.

She is also never sure whether she might - in a prison - come face-to-face with one of her grandson's murderers.

She says it won't put her off.

"I feel I have a calling to do prison work," she says. "I know it is too late for their victims as these men have already done the crime, but we need to stop them doing it again.

"And when they're released? Well, hopefully something I say can stop them killing again."

A truly remarkable lady, we need many more Ms Taylor’s to rid our country of  knife crime.