Ranjith Kakanamalage: Man killed in ‘homophobic attack’ in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park named

·2-min read
Ranjith Kakanamalage, known as Roy  (Met Police)
Ranjith Kakanamalage, known as Roy (Met Police)

A man who was murdered in a suspected homophobic attack in east London has been named. 

Ranjith Kakanamalage, known as Roy, was found dead in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park at 6.30am on Monday, August 16. 

The 50-year-old had severe head injuries and a post-mortem confirmed they were caused by blunt force trauma, police said. 

His death is being treated as a homophobic hate crime. A 36-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the investigation has been released on bail.

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, policing commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: "This is a horrific murder and my thoughts are with Ranjith’s family and loved ones. 

“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.

“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.”

Detectives urged local residents and members of the gay community to “prioritise their personal safety” when out at night “by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding listening to loud music, and avoiding dimly-lit areas where possible”.

A Met spokesman added that patrols in the area had been increased. 

Officers have also been working with LGBT+ Advisory Group and LGBT+ charities to “encourage members of the community to stay safe” and come forward with any information in the wake of the attack, police said. 

Detective Superintendent Pete Wallis, Specialist Crime, added: "My officers are working 24/7 with local colleagues and drawing from resources across the Met. 

“We will stop at nothing to bring justice to Ranjith’s family, who have been left devastated following this awful incident.

"I need anyone who has information to contact us immediately. Have you seen someone in the park or area who was acting suspiciously? It is imperative that you tell us what you know. Ranjith’s s family are devastated, and your information could help us bring them justice."

A crime scene remains in place in the park.

Derek Lee from the LGBT+ Advisory Group, a voluntary group of independent advisors who work with police and councils, said: “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.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 0208 345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC quoting 1277/16. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Watch: Victim's message to homophobic attackers

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