YEP Says, July 27: Counting the human cost of toxic gang culture

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IF aNyone ever had any doubts as to the toxic effect of modern day gang culture, they only need to read our horrifying story of a Leeds schoolboy who was stabbed just so his attacker could prove himself to his peers.

IF anyone ever had any doubts as to the toxic effect of modern day gang culture, they only need to read our horrifying story of a Leeds schoolboy who was stabbed just so his attacker could prove himself to his peers.

A court heard the 14-year-old could easily have died as a result of the assault. He needed 23 stitches after a knife was plunged into his back in Gotts Park in Armley.

The 15-year-old responsible was a member of a local gang and had carried out the stabbing in order to prove he was worthy of membership. He told youth workers he enjoyed fighting and violence was all part and parcel of being in the gang.

Often it’s said that young people turn to such gangs because their lives are empty and they have no real prospects to speak of. Yet the court heard this teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a promising rugby player.

Although said to be sorry for what he has done, with this one foolish act he has surely thrown away any chance of a career in the sport he loves.

This is a tragedy on both sides. Not only for the victim of this violent and terrifying attack but also for the young man responsible.

His life lies in tatters and the rest of his teenage years will be spent in detention. It’s a high price to pay for such a warped sense of belonging.

Station can be fast track to jobs

OUR roads are increasingly clogged with traffic that makes driving on them an ordeal. So is the solution to take to the train instead?

It’s certainly the view of Leeds East MP Richard Burgon, who is among those calling for a railway station at the Thorpe Park development which promises to bring 10,000 jobs to the city.

It makes sense – not least given the fact that just such a rail hub is considered integral to the success of the new Kirkstall Forge site.

The Government insist it wants to create a Northern Powerhouse that can compete with the South. This is an early test of its commitment to the cause.

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YEP Says: Leeds planning issues now pose so many questions