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The day our life sentence began

Five years ago, Isaac Stone was stabbed to death in Bedford. His sister, Channitta, has been working hard ever since to raise awareness of knife crime, and encourage young people not to carry weapons, and this week she’s telling her story on Force Focus. To read a longer version of her story, visit our blog.

Channitta and her brother IsaacIt was Saturday 25 January 2014 and Isaac had released his first professionally filmed music video. I was at work and he called me to ask if I had seen it. The video was great and the song was very catchy; he was laughing, smiling and having a drink with his friends. He looked so happy.

I told Isaac I was proud of him and that he had done well. I told him he could succeed at anything he wanted to, and politely reminded him of the CV I had made him, telling him he had to get a job in the meantime.

We both laughed, Isaac said he was going to come and see me at work, we said ‘I love you’ and ended the call.

Later on when he had not arrived, I called him but I got no answer. I wasn’t worried because I just assumed he was busy or had the music on in his car, rapping along as usual.

At about 6pm Isaac’s girlfriend called and said she had been told Isaac had been stabbed. At the time we didn’t realise how serious it was.

I called Isaac’s phone expecting him to answer, but he didn’t. I called his girlfriend back and she had more information. She said it was on Midland Road and it was serious.

My brother Tyrone went to Midland Road where he found out that Isaac had left in an ambulance. I knew it was bad from Tyrone’s tone on the phone, and he said lots of people had gathered there including the police.

The drive to the hospital felt like a lifetime - I just kept thinking how upset and angry Isaac was going to be... at no point did death cross my mind!

Isaac StoneThe first person I saw was my mum. We said nothing, we just both walked towards A&E. We were faced with a line of police officers and when we said who we were they parted, bowed their heads and let us through. Even then, the thought of death didn’t cross my mind.

When we were escorted into a side room I began to think that maybe he’d been badly hurt. A member of staff kept telling us that a doctor would be with us shortly, and I remember feeling sick. She was making me anxious and I began to think maybe Isaac was in intensive care or being operated on.

The doctor came in, and I can’t remember his exact words but he said something along the lines of: “Look, I’m not going to beat around the bush, I tried to save Isaac but he’s died.”

I remember everyone screaming, but it was unlike a scream I’d ever heard before. Later the people who’d gathered outside said that was how they knew Isaac had died.

I was in disbelief. I told the doctor he must be wrong and it must be mistaken identity.

The doctor said we couldn’t see Isaac due to the need to retain evidence – effectively his body was now a crime scene and they could not risk contamination or loss of evidence due to us entering the room or touching him.

I was adamant I would not leave until I saw Isaac.

In the end they agreed to let me stay while they brought him past on the way to the morgue, but only if I didn’t touch him. As they wheeled him past I knew it was real and there was no going back.

The days that followed were a blur. I kept expecting him to walk through the door and tell me it was all a big mistake, and to this day I still do.

We were finally allowed to go to the morgue and see Isaac on 28 January. He looked so peaceful, like he was asleep. We were only allowed to see from his neck up due to the trauma his body had been through. I gave him the biggest hug and I expected him to wake up but he didn’t.

They could only keep Isaac’s body out in the air for a certain amount of time so we had to leave, but we left pictures and clothes sprayed in his aftershave, so he had things from home with him.

I could see that my family was broken, but didn’t know how to make it better. We all looked after one another but the fact was there was a massive part of the jigsaw missing, and that was Isaac.

The thought that he was alone in the cold, dark morgue was crushing.

Although I am very proud of Isaac’s achievements and am happy he got to make a music video before he died, I don't like to watch it. To me, it sealed my brother’s fate and took away his future. 

In the video Isaac and his friends had been in the Costin Street area, where his murderers lived, and they had been spraying alcohol and spitting on their names graffitied on a wall.

The murderers saw the video and tracked Isaac down, stabbing him all over his body.

Isaac died alone in the back of an ambulance at 6.20pm on Saturday 25 January 2014.

That was the day he lost his life, and the day our life sentence began.

Channitta and three of Isaac's friends have also made videos talking about the impact of Isaac's death, to encourage people to bin the blade. We have released the videos on this very poignant day; 25 January 2019, the fifth anniversary of his death.

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