THE heartbroken mum of murdered PJ Douglass has expressed her gratitude as 1000 people prepare to march in his memory.
The popular 20-year-old trainee chef was killed on April 29 in what cops described as “a mindless act of violence.”
His brave mum Maureen, 52, and sister Jennifer, 22, will lead an anti-knife crime walk this Sunday (May 29) in memory of the former Duncanrig Secondary pupil.
They will be joined by new East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani, who will address the crowd at the end of the march.
Maureen told the News: “I give my full support to this march and appreciate everything people are doing for PJ and for the wider picture of knife crime, which is a national problem.
“There are a lot of good people, especially teenagers, out there who don’t deserve to be tarred with the same brush and will be present on the day showing their support.”
An anti-knife crime walk in Blantyre for tragic Reamonn Gormley attracted some 1500 people from all over Lanarkshire.
Organiser of the East Kilbride walk, Maxine Williamson, 21, says up to 1000 people are expected to march for PJ.
She said: “Everyone has been so supportive and the authorities have been so helpful with the organisation.
“PJ’s mum is really moved by it. I think because she can’t have a funeral for him at the moment this is something to help her remember him, and help with how she is feeling.”
Linda Fabiani MSP revealed she met with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill this week and he has agreed for a team of delegates from East Kilbride to travel to the Scottish Parliament to help move forward the country’s “No Knives Better Lives” initiative.
Ms Fabiani said: “We want to send a message to East Kilbride that knife crime is something we wish to stop.
“I’ve been very impressed with Maxine’s committmentto her friend. I intend towalk with Maxine, Mrs Douglass and PJ’s friends on the day.
“This peaceful, quiet and caring march will mark a way forward for East Kilbride.”
The two-mile march was due to set off from Greenhills Square but will now start at Westwood pitches, near Lickprivick Road, at 11am.
The route, which is expected to take approximately one hour, will take in Westwood Road, Mossneuk Avenue, Greenhills Road, Crosshouse Road and finish back at Westwood pitches.
Those taking part will be wearing specially made anti-knife crime t-shirts and holding banners.
All locals are welcome to join in the march.
PJ (or Paul), of Greenhills, was found with serious injuries in a block of flats at Mallard Crescent following an altercation.
He later died in Hairmyres Hospital.
Police investigating the murder of Paul Douglass say this was an isolated incident and that they are following a positive line of enquiry.
However, despite this, police say it could be a number of weeks before anyone is charged.
An incident room at East Kilbride Police Office remains in place for anyone with information relating to the incident.
Contact police on 01355 564000.
Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.