Teenager Taylor Black was killed after he was brutally stabbed 64 times – including 40 times in the head – during a vicious assault in February last year in County Durham
Image: Lindsey Allison)
A boy whose older brother was murdered in a savage attack has written a heartbreaking letter calling for an end to knife crime.
Teenager Taylor Black was stabbed 64 times – including 40 times in the head – during a vicious assault in February last year.
His younger brother, Shae, who just turned nine, learned the devastating news when his mum sat him down to tell him that Taylor had gone to heaven.
The killer, Nathan Costello, was convicted of murder earlier this year, Chronicle Live reports.
And this week Shae surprised his mum, Lindsey Allison, when he handed her a touching letter he wrote.
It read: “Stop knife crime, it wastes lives and wastes the world.
“If somebody has physically hurt someone on purpose they are just bullies. The families will be hurting just as much as ours just like my family, my big loving brother was hurt on purpose.
“It’s ok to cry, let the tears roll down and then wipe them off and go and be a star just like our loved ones would want you to.
“You shouldn’t be scared because they are always with you and they live in a safe place called heaven.”
Afterwards, Lindsey said she was “overwhelmed” when her boy gave her the letter before bed.
She said: “He said ‘look mam I’ve written this about knife crime because I don’t want anybody to get stabbed like Taylor did because I don’t want their families to be sad like ours’.
“I was so overwhelmed with how grown up he was for everything he has been through.
“Shae is normally very closed and doesn’t open up much about Taylor’s death so for him to think of that on his own and write his feelings down I was so proud of him.”
Taylor, 18, was studying computer science at university when he visited his mum and Shae one weekend at the family home in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.
He was supposed to watch a film with Lindsey before remembering he had a friend’s birthday party to go to.
But the following morning, Lindsey received a call saying her boy had been stabbed by an old pal, Nathan Costello, 32.
She later learned how Costello plunged a knife into his victim’s chest, piercing his heart and liver, before stabbing him repeatedly in the skull.
In September Lindsey told the Daily Star : “A police officer told me Taylor was dead and I just fell to my knees and screamed.
“I looked at my mum in the distance and just yelled ‘he’s dead, he’s dead’ over and over.”
And during Costello’s murder trial, Lindsey suffered more tragedy after her brother Niki Exley took his own life.
She found his body days after Costello was found guilty and said he couldn’t cope with what happened to his nephew.
Costello was convicted of murder in July and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 21 years.
Afterwards Lindsey said: “My son’s killer took two lives when he decided to butcher my son.
“He took the life of my brother too.
“Niki was vulnerable and didn’t know the gruesome details of Taylor’s death until he read about it online during the trial. It pushed him over the edge.
‘’So I had to bury my brother after already burying my son.
“I don’t know what I did to ever deserve that.”
After posting her son’s letter on Facebook, one person commented: “This is absolutely beautiful. He’s such a good little fighter god bless you and your family.”
Another said: “When it comes from the heart like this you just know what a little fighter Shae is. Absolutely beautiful and Taylor and Niki will definitely be looking down on him with pride.”
And Lindsey added: “The words of my nine-year-old boy touched my heart and I hope that they touch other people’s hearts and make them think twice about using knives as it’s destroyed our family in every way possible.
“But I’m grateful everyday for Shae – his strength amazes me and I know that his big brother and uncle would be so proud of him.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.