Relatives and friends of a grandmother who was stabbed to death in a McDonald's restaurant have called for tougher laws on the sale of knives.

Gill Colbourne, 55, said the death of her sister Jackie Marshall starkly demonstrated the need for new restrictions on bladed weapons.

Mrs Marshall, 57, of Southbourne near Chichester, who worked for the fast-food chain for about 15 years, was stabbed as she supervised a children's party at the Terminus Road restaurant, Chichester, on Saturday.

Mrs Colbourne, a police constable based in Hayling Island, Hants, said knives were just as great a danger as the gun culture.

Mrs Colbourne, who was speaking as a relative and not as a police officer, said: "As a police officer I thought if anything like this were to happen, it would be to me.

"I could never have imagined that my sister would be stabbed working in McDonald's. I thought she would be safe."

"We are having all these campaigns against guns but I think the same needs to be done with knives."

Kim Healey, who worked with Mrs Marshall for two and a half years and described her as "a second mum", said everyone at McDonald's would back a campaign for tighter restrictions.

Miss Healey, 19, of Nelson Row, Ford, near Arundel, said: "Youngsters should not be able to get hold of these things.

"What's to stop a 16-year-old going into a shop and buying a lethal knife?

"I think there should be an age requirement of at least 25 to buy one or perhaps people should have to get licences. It's a difficult issue but something has to be done."

Maureen Pratt, 57, of Whyke Lane, Chichester, had known Mrs Marshall for years.

She said: "Everyone here will be 100 per cent behind this.

"There's all this publicity and work being done about the gun culture but what about knives? They are just as dangerous."

Mrs Pratt, whose sons had worked with Mrs Marshall in McDonald's, said people were still reeling from the tragic death of a much-loved member of the Chichester community.

She said: "People have not stopped talking about her. The phone has not stopped ringing for my boys, who are still so miserable.

"McDonald's is open again now but a lot of people are just going there to remember Jackie.

"She was a wonderful, kind person and I think she would have felt the same about the laws on knives. Any mother would."

Shane Freer, 20, a former McDonald's employee, of First Avenue, Batchmere, appeared before Chichester magistrates on Monday charged with the murder of Mrs Marshall. He was remanded in custody until April 28 when he is due before Lewes Crown Court.

Mrs Marshall, who had been married for more than 35 years and had two children and three grandchildren, was from a very close-knit family and was well-known in the Southbourne area for her charity work, police said.

A McDonald's spokesman earlier paid tribute to "a much loved, valued and respected member of our team" and said the company was "shocked and horrified by this tragic incident".