THE mother of a teen stabbed to death said the sentence handed to his killer highlights “flaws in the criminal justice system”.

Sarah Robinson warned the 12-year sentence handed to Thomas Betteridge will “not be a deterrent” to stop people from carrying or using knives.

Sarah’s 18-year-old son Cameron Hamilton was fatally stabbed by Betteridge following a fight in Bournemouth Square last summer.

Betteridge, 18 and of Southsea, was found guilty of manslaughter, and handed a nine-year custodial sentence in a Young Offenders' Institute, with an extended licence period of three years.

But Sarah said the sentence would not deter knife crime, nor prevent other families from going through the “complete pain and devastation” that hers did.

Dorset Echo: Cameron HamiltonCameron Hamilton (Image: Dorset Police)

Speaking outside Bournemouth Crown Court, she said: “To us, Cameron's family, the action of stabbing someone twice is not manslaughter, but murder.

“Since Cam’s death, it has become abundantly clear that there are some serious flaws in our criminal justice system surrounding the laws of knife crime.

“As Cameron’s mum, it is my personal belief that there are questions that need to be asked and answers, such as why we don’t have a minister dedicated to knife crime, and why people are carrying knives and not being imprisoned for doing so.

“Had there not been a knife present that evening, and somebody who had not the fear or the care of the consequences of using it, Cam would still be with us today.”

Sarah said that her son’s death had been the catalyst for eight weeks of community action being planned to raise awareness in and around the conurbation in the coming months.

She said: “The main aim of this is to educate, support, prevent and deter people from carrying or using knives.

“We are hoping changes are made, remembering Cam.”

When Betteridge was sentenced on Friday, April 5, victim impact statements were shared by members of Mr Hamilton’s family.

The court heard how he was the “kindest soul” who was “thoughtful” and made people laugh.

Continuing her tribute outside the court, Sarah said: “Cam was a beautiful young man with a beautiful soul and was loved by all that had the pleasure of knowing him.”