Stocking shocker

Stocking filler knives on display at Tesco, Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead.
Stocking filler knives on display at Tesco, Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead.

Tesco has pulled vicious-looking flip knives from its stocking filler Christmas display after outcry from customers, including the family of murdered Billy Dove.

The Jarman Park store in Hemel Hempstead had the foldaway tradesman knives on show close to the main entrance as part of a festive ‘gift ideas’ display.

Paul Dove, the father of the 21-year-old fatally stabbed in the town centre a year ago, said: “I was extremely disappointed and shocked to learn that Tesco is selling foldaway tradesman knives and advertising them as a stocking filler.

“My personal opinion is these types of knives should only be sold in trade stores, where the purchasing can be controlled and regulated. I would go even further to say the government could even enforce a handling licence, too.

“Companies such as Tesco should not be glamourising a knife as a gift and more importantly should be making it harder to purchase, as it has a duty of care and safety to their customers and the local community.”

Mr Dove, who has already spoken to one of the store’s duty managers, has also pledged to contact the supermarket giant’s chief executive Philip Clarke.

“I will be writing to Mr Clarke regarding my concerns, as I personally do not feel this should be allowed,” said Paul.

“I will also be telling him about the devastation and heartbreak that can be caused when someone decides to carry a knife and use it as a weapon.”

Another customer, who did not want to be named, said: “With the youths of today needing no encouragement, how do Tesco justify this one?”

Tesco has now moved the knives to another part of its store. A spokesman for the supermarket said: “We have listened to the concerns raised by our customer, and as a result, we will be removing the product from this display.”

Following the murder of 21-year-old Billy, his family have joined the fight against knife crime launching the charity Billy’s Wish, and have been backed by former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, whose brother suffered the same fate as the popular trainee mechanic.