Volunteer cop describes feeling ‘helpless’ as teen stab victim lay dying in front of her

Kennie had allegedly been followed and pounced on by a group wearing hoods and Covid masks on Stretford’s Lakes estate at 7pm on Saturday, January 22

Special Sergeant Lauren Whitworth was a first responder on the night of Kennie’s death

The volunteer police officer first on the scene after a teenager was fatally stabbed has described her feeling of helplessness as the youth lay dying in the street.

Teacher Lauren Whitworth, 33, who is a special sergeant with GMP, saw 16-year-old Kennie Carter, who had suffered a fatal stab wound to the chest, unconscious just yards from his home in Stretford.

Kennie had allegedly been followed and pounced on by a group wearing hoods and Covid masks on Stretford’s Lakes estate at 7pm on Saturday, January 22.

He was stabbed in the chest and died later in hospital. Police believe the fatal stabbing was the culmination of a series of tit-for-tat incidents between two rival groups, the Manchester Evening News reports.

So far police have arrested 14 youths on suspicion of murder, aged between 12 and 17.

Ten of the young suspects remain on police bail.

Kennie had allegedly been followed and pounced on by a group wearing hoods when he was walking home


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In the wake of the devastating incident, Special Sergeant Whitworth, from Urmston, the head of maths at Altrincham College, is asking: “Have we failed these teenagers?”

Lauren, who was the first police officer on the scene of the stabbing on Thirlmere Avenue in Stretford, alongside PC Charlie Crouch, said the teenager’s eyes were open but he ‘wasn’t there’.

She is now insisting more work has to be done in schools to tackle knife and crime.

Kennie is one of four youths from Greater Manchester who have died because of knife crime in 2022.

Lauren said: “There was chaos, people everywhere we turned on Thirlmere.

“At that point Kennie was just laying on the floor.

“There was somebody giving him CPR, a member of the public.

Kennie’s mother Joan Dixon said she felt like her whole world had been ‘taken from her’



“He was laying down on his back near to the wall on the pavement. He was unconscious and not breathing.

“I went around the back of the car to collect the first aid bag. My colleague was there administering first aid. Charlie took over.

“I was with Kennie’s mum and dad. They only live around the corner. The whole neighborhood was out.

“Once we have arrived it feels like a long time before the ambulance arrived, but it was only a matter of one or two minutes.

“By that point the whole street was flooded with police and paramedics. It was all happening incredibly fast.

“I tried to put up the (crime) scene tape while Kennie was taken to the back of the ambulance where they continued to work on him.”

A volunteer cop for the last three years, Lauren said: “I felt absolutely helpless.

“Every day I think back and think, could we have done more? I think I question myself as I work in education.

“That’s what upset me most in the coming days and weeks. Have we failed these teenagers?

“These teenagers are ending up in this situation of being stabbed and people are carrying knives.

“We need to get to the root cause when they are in school and help them see they have options and opportunities, that carrying a knife isn’t the right option. It’s only going to end one way.”

She described seeing Kennie’s parents at the scene: “They were distraught.

“It was extremely traumatic and devastating, seeing Kennie’s mum especially.

“She was devastated.

“She was losing her son in front of her eyes, at 16, when he should be out playing football and getting ready to do his GCSEs.

“He should be planning for the future. His life was taken away from him.”

Lauren described how Kennie’s mother was ‘shouting trying to find who had done it’. She said: “There were at least 15 to 20 people out.

“The whole neighborhood was out. There were children and parents.

The whole neighborhood was out there.

“I just hope that the conversation around knife crime stays on the table and as parents and teachers or anybody who works with teenagers, we continue to do everything we possibly can to minimize this happening in the future.

“By the time the police get involved, it’s already happened.

“There are branches in the police like safeguarding teams that do work intensively with those involved in knife crime or any sort of criminality.

“But really it’s those that are close to the teenagers at a young age, the teachers that are working with them every day.

“It’s them that can build this trust.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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