THE founder of an anti-knife charity has paid tribute to her nephew after he was brutally murdered in south Essex on Friday night.

Luke Bellfield died from a single knife wound to the heart in Old Leigh on Friday evening.

Luke Bellfield

The tragedy comes nine years after Caroline Shearer, who founded Only Cowards Carry, lost her own son to knife crime.

She has now called for more knife crime education to be put in place in Southend.

Her 17-year-old son, Jay Whiston, died after being stabbed at a house party in Colchester in 2012.

She admitted her nephew’s murder has been a reminder of what she went through nine years ago.

Luke tragically died in an alleyway near The Peterboat on Friday evening.

He was taken to hospital with stab wounds but died a short while after.

A post mortem found that he died from a single stab wound to the heart.

A murder investigation is ongoing.

Caroline and her husband Michael have paid tribute to “well loved” Luke.

She said: “Luke was an outstanding member of the community. He was well loved.

“He was doing his boxing and he was a very, very much-loved son.

“He had a bright future ahead of him. He was only 18 years old. I just hope my Jay was there to look after him.

“The tribute goes out to the family from Mick and I. We’re heartbroken for them.”

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Caroline is now calling for better education on the impact using knives can have on families affected as she “starts up the fight” again against knife crime.

She added: “Everyone has got to be educated. People have to start realising what they are doing.

“It’s time to turn the tables. They can’t just keep ruining lives. They’ve not just ruined their lives, they have ruined the lives of everybody in that family.”

“It’s been very difficult for us to go back there.

“It’s one of the things you hate to say “I know what you’re going through”.

“I’m going to start up the fight again and we will get there.”