Schoolboy, 16, dies after Boxing Day stabbing as mum pays tribute to 'wonderful son'

THE heartbroken mother of a 16-year-old boy stabbed to death in a targeted attack on Boxing Day has paid tribute to her "wonderful son".

Joe Whitchurch, 16, suffered fatal stab wounds at an address in Hickings Lane, Stapleford, shortly before 5.30am on Saturday.

He was rushed to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham but died on Tuesday afternoon.

Nottinghamshire Police have now launched a murder probe.

The force said that one man, 20-year-old Jake Rollinson, of Hickings Lane, Stapleford, was charged with attempted murder on Sunday and remanded in custody.

A heavy police presence remained at the scene on Wednesday, while forensic officers searched a property and a part of the Hickings Lane Recreation Ground, NottinghamshireLive reported.

In an emotional tribute, Joe's mum, Lisa Kilkenny, said: "Joe was a wonderful son and elder brother who had his whole life ahead of him.

"He was a natural sportsman and an especially good swimmer who loved nothing more than spending time with his friends and family.

"He had recently started studying engineering at Nottingham College and was full of hope for the future – even with everything that has been going on in the world."

She added that the family had been left "heartbroken" by Joe's death but that they would "always cherish his memory", especially his "famously broad smile that really did have the ability to light up any room".

She also thanked the crew of the Air Ambulance that came to the scene and the staff at the Queen's Medical Centre, who she said "fought so hard to save Joe's life".

"Finally I would urge anyone with any additional information about what happened to come forward to the police straight away and help us get justice for Joe," she said.

Detective Inspector Steve Wragg, of Nottinghamshire Police, is leading the investigation.

He said: "Detectives have been working around the clock to establish exactly happened to Joe in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"The death of a child in any circumstances is tragic, but it is especially shocking for a young life to be taken in this way.

"As we continue our work to investigate the circumstances of Joe's death I would like to thank the local community for their continued help and support."

Superintendent Kevin Broadhead said additional police patrols had been deployed to give "reassurance" to residents living in the area.

He added: "If you see our officers out and about over the next few days please feel free to approach them with any additional information you may have.”

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