Mum of murdered Leeds teenager teams up with former gang member for anti-knife film

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The mum of a murdered Leeds teenager has teamed up with filmmakers to educate young people on the dangers of carrying knives and the city’s gang culture.

Sarah Lloyd is a knife crime campaigner and mother to Kieran Butterworth, who was murdered in Harehills in 2013. She has and ex-gang member/ex-young offender Vilson Duarte-Dong are partnering with Tell Studio to tackle knife crime culture in Leeds.

The film, “Cut Short: Fighting Against Knives in the North”, aims to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife by sharing Sarah’s story of grief and loss and Vilson’s experience of overcoming and escaping Leeds’ gang culture.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It also features interviews with a direct witness of Kieran’s murder, a Leeds General Infirmary trauma surgeon, and young people who carry knives. West Yorkshire Police have also shared statistics on confiscations and crimes.

Sarah Lloyd, knife crime campaigner who lost her son to a knife attack in 2013.Sarah Lloyd, knife crime campaigner who lost her son to a knife attack in 2013.
Sarah Lloyd, knife crime campaigner who lost her son to a knife attack in 2013.

“Young people are carrying knives because they think it makes them safer,” said Sarah. “They don’t realise that the consequences of using a knife are far, far worse.”

Vilson added: “It doesn’t only affect people who are directly involved with the crimes. It affects everyone around them. Everyone should be concerned about this.”

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2018, Ms Lloyd said: “I lost my son to knife crime. I know the impact it’s had on my family.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t go in preaching about statistics, I just tell them how it is. Everybody’s got a mum and brothers and sisters. They can kind of relate to it.”

Tell Studio are trying to raise £4,200 through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to produce the film. The funding campaign will run until the end of November, with the documentary being shot between 9th-12th December in and around Harehills.

Co-founder of Tell Studio and the film’s director Owen Seabrook said: “We’re making the film in Leeds but it’s representative of knife crime everywhere in the UK. Some young people simply don’t have the guidance to access this information, so we want to bring it to them.”

Organisers plan to share the film with schools, community centres and across social media but Tell Studio hopes to find more ways of reaching young people.

The crowdfunding campaign is live now and can be found by searching “Cut Short” on Kickstarter.