'I beg that this cycle of violence stops': Mum of murdered Christopher Lewis makes court plea to Leeds gangs

Christopher Lewis' mother Mary Houston made plea to end gang violence in her victim statement which was read out at Leeds Crown Court
Christopher Lewis' mother Mary Houston made plea to end gang violence in her victim statement which was read out at Leeds Crown Court
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The mother of murdered Christopher Lewis issued a court plea to end the gang disputes which ended his life.

Mary Houston also described the horror of finding her son fatally injured with a gunshot wound to the head on the driveway of their home in Leeds.

Ms Houston provided a victim statement which was read to the court ahead of the sentencing of the five men involved in the killing.
It was read out to Leeds Crown Court by prosecutor Dafydd Enoch, QC.

The statement read: "I beg that this cycle of violence stops, regardless of who a person is or what they’ve done in the past.

"I don’t want another mother to be in my shoes where they bury their child.

"I don’t want any mother to see their son spend the best years of their lives in prison."

Describing her heartbreak at losing a one of her children, she said: "No parent should ever have to bury their child.

"No parent should lose a child, let alone have a child murdered.

"My son Christopher Lewis was senselessly killed."

The statement continued: "This will burn in my memory until the day I die.

"How can his life be so cheap?"

Describing the events of the night of the shooting, she said: "I heard two shots that sounded like fireworks and my son Robert told me he had been shot."

Ms Houston found her son lying injured on the driveway outside the house.

She described how she got on the floor and performed CPR on her son.

She said: "This was literally the worst moment of my life.

"Christopher smiled at me and his eyes rolled back."

"I put my hand on his heart and it stopped."

She went on to describe how Mr Lewis was taken to hospital where CT scans showed that he was brain dead.

He was transferred to a life support machine to allow family and friends to say goodbye to him.

Mrs Houston said: "There is a special bond between mother and son."

The court heard Mr Lewis was a brother to Robert, Jason and Gary. He also had a partner and young daughter.

His mother stated: "Because of this (his daughter) will have to grow up without her dad."

"I walk those streets every day to go to Christopher's grave.

"I think of alternatives and 'what ifs'.

"I wish I could swap places with him."

She went on to describe the devastating effects of gang violence on families.

She said: "Christopher was by no means an angel but he had a huge heart and would help anybody.

"I miss him walking in and saying 'I love you' and giving me a big kiss.

"The people who have done this will never fully comprehend what they have done to my family and I am not sure they even care.

"They have no respect for human life.

"I want my boy back but that is impossible. But all I ask is that justice is done so they can't hurt anyone else."