The mother of Luke O’Connor, a 19-year-old undergraduate student who was stabbed to death in Fallowfield, has issued a powerful video statement through police as her son’s killer is jailed.
Shiloh Pottinger, 20, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for manslaughter on Monday 19 June.
He will serve at least 10 years of that sentence behind bars before he can be considered for release.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Luke had been travelling home from a party in the early hours of Wednesday 26 October 2022, when he came across and was stabbed multiple times by Pottinger.
Luke was left in the street, on Wilmslow Road, where he died despite CPR efforts from emergency services that were flagged down by members of the public.
His mother Carolyn has now spoken about the devastation the O’Connor family faces in the wake of the death of their youngest son.
She said that Pottinger’s sentence ‘in no way compares to our life sentence’, and insisted that her son will not have died in vain.
Carolyn pleaded for people not to carry knives and to speak out against those who do.
Watch Luke O’Connor’s mother pay tribute to her son:
She said in a video released through GMP: “Luke was my lively, bubbly, and beautiful little boy. He was the youngest of three boys in our family, and he was loved by so many people.
“He was a student at university and he loved the freedom of living in Manchester.
“He’d gone to a party that night like any other student, and was simply walking home. But he never made it.
“Luke was 19 years old and he had his whole life ahead of him. He had big dreams for his future and wanted to travel the world.
“But now those dreams can no longer happen.
“The person who snatched Luke from us will serve his time in jail, but he will still be able to see his family again. His family will not have to suffer in the way that we have.
“I will never see my son again, and our family has been left with a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.
“We cannot lose Luke for nothing, and if we can prevent this from happening to someone else, and encourage people not to carry knives and to actually think about the consequences, then his death will not be in vain.
“Knife crime is not just gang-related violence. This is happening on our streets as some think it’s normal to carry a knife. It’s not normal. If you know someone is carrying a knife, do the right thing, and speak out or report it to the police.
“Too many young lives are being taken and it has to stop.
“If there had been no knife that night, my Luke would still be with us, and I would not be here today.”
Detective Sergeant Laura Murray of GMP’s Major Incident Team said: “Luke was just 19-years-old when he was stabbed and killed on his way home. His parents have gone through something that no parent should have to go through.
“From the outset, the investigation team has worked tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome. I’m pleased the offender has been served a jail sentence however it will not bring Luke home to his family.
“Had Shiloh Pottinger not been carrying a knife that night, then Luke would not have died. This case shows very clearly the tragic consequences that come from carrying knives.
“Many other lives have also been ruined – those of family and friends.
“The police are working hard to tackle knife crime, but we need help. We need parents and teachers to challenge the idea that it’s acceptable to carry knives. And if you know or suspect a friend of yours is carrying a knife, you need to call out that behaviour.
“I’d now like to speak directly to anyone out there who carries a knife. Please I urge you to put it down before it’s too late. It will cost you your life.”
Featured image: GMP
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”