- Mum recalls the sickening moment she saw the knife that killed her teenage son in court on C5’s Gangland: Murder
- Sharon had rushed to the scene of her son’s murder in time to see him dying on the floor
By George Harrison – @George_Haz
Wednesday 7th September 2016
A HARD-HITTING TV show is exploring the lives of British gangsters – and the people who are affected by their deadly lifestyles.
Gangland: Murder shines a spotlight on the gang culture which has torn apart communities in London, and features interviews with hardened gangsters and the people whose lives they ruin.
The Channel 5 documentary consists of two parts, with the second episode focusing on Sharon, whose eldest son, Shaquan, was murdered a year ago at the age of 17.
Killed in Brockley, South London, Shaquan kept away from gangs and had a bright future head of him before he became a tragic victim of the local community’s deadly gang culture.
He was stabbed on the way to a local youth club by a thug in one of the 16 gangs active across the borough of Lewisham.
Sharon, who works nearby, rushed to his side in time to see her teenage son dying on the floor in a pool of blood.
She said: “I know my son heard when I cried out. That cry will never go in vain.” A moving scene from the funeral shows distraught relatives crowding around the teenager’s coffin.
She said: “It was like I was speaking to him and he was speaking to me. He said: ‘This is it. Let go. I’m going.'”
His killers, who were just 15 and 16 at the time, were known locally to carry knives. One particularly moving scene sees mum Sharon reveal her heartbreak at seeing the blade which killed her son in court.
She said: “When I glimpsed the knife in court it was horrible. I looked at it and I cried. “And I said: ‘Why?’ My body was literally shaking. I was just imagining the knife going inside my son.
“For a child to be carrying a knife like that, oh, that’s just like a gun.”
Tragically, the stabbing was not a freak event – last year there were 81 knife crime incidents involving young people in Shaquan’s borough.
Disturbing footage shows an unnamed gang member discuss why it’s so important for him to carry a weapon in the area.
He said: “I love my knife, it’s like that. I could get run up on. They have their knife on them but I get poked up (stabbed).
“I’ve seen death coming towards me. As they say, you’ve only got one life so you best be
The documentary aims to offer an insight into a world so deadly that two of the teenagers who appear in the film have since been killed.
Paul Blake, the film-maker behind the series, told The Guardian that he wanted to give a voice to the people affected by gang culture in the UK – as well as those who are part of it.
Much of the footage was shot by the hardened criminals themselves, who can be seen posing with deadly weapons and mountains of drugs in the documentary. Jordy, a former member of the deadly Woolwich Boys street gang who features in the series, explained why insights like this are so important.
He said: “I want to show other people that it just isn’t worth it, I survived it and now this is my time to tell everyone. I feel like I’ve got a message and a story to tell now to stop other people ganging it. “I can save so many lives from just my story.”
The first episode of Gangland: Murder saw members of one of London’s most notorious gangs open up about their day-to-day lives, including footage they’ve shot themselves. And the final episode in the two-part series airs at 10pm 8th September on Channel 5.
If you need help or want to support others who want to leave gangs please visit Gangsline.