Following a “horrific” hate crime on August 16th in which a 50-year-old victim was murdered at a well-known cruising spot and cemetery park in Tower Hamlets in London’s East End, police have publicly identified the victim as Ranjith Kankanamalage.

Activists have pointed to a spate of attacks in the UK in the past few months, including attacks on gay couples in Birmingham’s gay village and Edinburgh.

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Police say that the victim – also known as ‘Roy’ – had lived in the Tower Hamlets area for several years and that his family are being supported by specialist officers.

After his body was found unresponsive, emergency services attended the scene shortly after 6am on Monday August 16. Metropolitan Police confirmed that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem revealed he had died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Murder Is being Treated As A Hate Crime

Describing the murder as “horrific” Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, Police Commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said that “’Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure that community that my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.”

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“I also want to be really clear that there is no place, at all, in London for any form of hate crime and the Met is absolutely committed to tackling it and supporting victims. We are here for you.”

Barnett confirmed that the murder is being treated as a hate crime, however, went on to add the investigators would be keeping an “open mind” as they continue their hunt for the perpetrators.

Man Arrested And Released On Bail

Last week police had arrested a 36-year-old man in connection to the murder but was later released him on bail. Kankanamalage family have also released an image of him  in hopes that it may help anyone who has information about Kankanamalage’s death to come forward.

Derek Lee, of the LGBT+ Advisory Group, said: ‘We are a voluntary group of independent advisors working closely with the local police, local council and the homicide team on this case. We are making sure that LGBT+ issues are addressed in the investigation of this tragic death as well as the wider police response regarding safety in Tower Hamlets and the whole of London.”

“If you have any information, please contact the police, Crimestoppers or the LGBT+ charity, Galop The investigation team is clear that they are only interested in information relevant to the case and your privacy will be respected.”

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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