The parents of a schoolboy who was murdered in London shared their tragic experience with pupils at a Kirk Hallam school.
Barry and Margaret Mizen’s son, Jimmy, was killed in 2008, the day after his 16th birthday when he was attacked by Jake Fahri in a bakery.
The couple spoke about their ordeal at a special assembly held at St John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy.
Jimmy was killed when Fahri threw a 12 inch hot glass dish at him with such force that it severed vital blood vessels.
On the day that marked six and a half years after his death, Barry and Margaret, who have eight other children, spoke at the school.
Barry said that on the day of Jimmy’s murder, they had both hugged him and told him they loved him.
He said: “That’s the last time I saw him alive.”
Minutes later Jimmy was confronted by Fahri, who witnesses in court described as ‘going berserk’. Jimmy died in his brother’s arms in a cupboard in the back of the bakery.
Mr Mizen said: “If we as a society spent far more time doing something earlier things would be different. He didn’t mean to kill him but he meant to hurt him as much as he could.
“It was anger that killed Jimmy.”
He said: “We went to church on the Sunday morning (the day after) and the press were there. The headlines on Monday morning said we forgave Jake, we never said ‘forgave’.”
The couple talked about not being angry about what had happened, and how their faith had helped them.
Margaret said she never thinks about Jake now but wonders what turned him into such an angry young man. She said: “I don’t hate him. My only prayer is that he turns his life around.”
Speaking afterwards, Merrin Shelton, 15, head girl at the school, said: “I thought it was really inspirational because in school you don’t learn much crime because it doesn’t happen so much where we live, but to know that it could happen to someone of our age the day after their 16th birthday is surreal.”
Joe Cuomo, 15, said: “I thought it was eye-opening. I have never heard of the story but you hear bits on the news. To hear them speak about it really hits home that’s it’s happening.”
The pupils said it had taught them about forgiveness and to stand up against bullies.
The couple set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation following his death and have been working hard to tackle youth violence ever since.
Fahri is currently serving a life sentence on prison for Jimmy’s murder.