FIFERS calling for tougher action on knife crime marched to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh at the weekend.
The family and friends of Burntisland stabbing victim Barry Mclean, including his parents Alan and Tina, were joined by around 100 supporters in a parade down the Royal Mile in the capital.
Many of those who joined the march were friends and relatives of other stabbing victims.
Barry (27), died in May of last year after being stabbed in the stomach with a kitchen knife, leaving behind his partner Jennifer and seven-month-old son Connor.
He had gone to the flat of Sean Kitchener in Burntisland’s Abbot’s View after Kitchener had fought with Barry’s younger brother Craig at the Old Port pub the previous evening.
Whilst he was there a fight broke out.
Mr Kitchener admitted in court that during the melee he had “poked” Barry with the knife.
The wound sliced into a major artery and Barry later died. Mr Kitchener was set free from the High Court in Edinburgh in August of this year after lodging a special case of self defence, which was accepted by the jury.
Alan McLean addressed the marchers in Edinburgh, saying: “We must join together and unite against knife crime.
“Every one of us here has suffered so much, lost so much, and we all ask for so little in return.
‘‘We need our peers to listen to what we are saying to make Scotland safer.
“Let’s make our streets safer, and remember most of all we need to protect our children and our children’s children.”
The ‘Justice For Barry’ campaign carries the slogan ‘Ditch The Knife and Cherish Life’ which Mr and Mrs Mclean hope will help get their message across.
They are calling for a minimum tariff of 25 years for knife killers, mandatory prison sentences and clearer directions from the court and judges to juries.
They also said the recent announcement by the Scottish Government that the maximum sentence for carrying a knife was to rise from four years to five was not enough.
They intend to present the Government with a petition, which has over 1500 signatures, with their demands.
It includes a call for more random searches to be carried out by police and for younger generations to learn about the dangers of knife crime.
A similar march for Fife Council electrician Barry was held in Kirkcaldy in October where over 220 people took part in a parade along the High Street. In May a special memorial evening was also held in his name.
Mr Mclean said: “This can’t go on.
“Not one week goes by when we don’t hear about knife crime happening somewhere on the TV.
“We still look for Barry coming through the door every day. We miss his smile and his laughter.
“We need to make sure that nobody goes through what we, and others, have been through due to knife crime.”
A third parade for Barry has been planned. A Christmas walk will be held in his home town of Burntisland on December 21. It will leave from the Sands Hotel at 7.00 p.m. and end at the cemetery.