A mother from Northamptonshire, whose 17-year-old son was killed by his best friend, says she wants to see a change in the law so people convicted of knife crime serve their full sentence.
Harnaryan Johal, aged 18, of Newbury Drive, Daventry, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but not guilty of murdering his friend, Stanley Harrison, following an argument in the early hours of June 14.
At Northampton Crown Court last week, Johal was sentenced to five years and three months in prison. Judge Rupert Mayo said he would serve half in prison so, taking into account the time he has already served in custody, Johal will be locked up for just over two years.
Talking to the Chronicle & Echo this week, Stanley’s mum, Alison, said the sentence did not send out a deterrent.
Ms Bicknell said: “I would have been more than happy with a five year sentence if he was going to serve it.
“To do two-and-a-half-years is a disgrace. He is going to come out and he is still going to have his whole life ahead of him and he will be able to move on and still do everything he wants
“It is just wrong. He has not paid and it has given a lot of people the idea ‘I’ll just go ahead and do that as there is no consequence to it’.
“That is what is wrong with this justice system now.”
Ms Bicknell said she is struggling to come to terms with her son’s death and keeps hoping he will “walk through the door”.
During the trial, the court heard that one of Stanley’s last phone calls was to ask his mum to bring him a cigarette and he signed off by saying “love you mum, see you in the morning”.
Ms Bicknell said: “I would not want anybody to go through what I go through. I am up and down. I’m horrible sometimes, intolerant, I’m nasty, I’m so full of emotions and just want to cry all the time.
“Yet I’m sort of emotionless to other people and I just block everybody out. People are trying to be so good and so nice and they are. The whole of Daventry have been so supportive.
“I just keep wanting him to come home and walk through the door or text me. I still don’t believe it now. It feels like I’m on the outside looking in and in a minute I’m going to wake up and it’s going to be a big April Fool’s joke. It’s horrible being in other family environments.
“It’s not just about the time of the year but the things we used to watch together or the songs that come on the radio that we used to dance together to; little things like that.
“It’s not as if, now the trial’s over, move on, it’s all done. This is never ever going to go away.
“He was gobby but everyone loved him.
“He was probably the only one who could go into any kebab shop in Daventry and get a free meal. He was charming. Everybody loved him.”
During the trial, the court heard that Stanley and Johal acted like “brothers” and would regularly bicker and argue, but they would always make up quickly.
Judge Rupert Mayo, sentencing, said Johal had not intended to kill Stanley or seriously harm him, but had drawn a knife when he was “very annoyed” with him.