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Tufnell Park knife murder: Passers-by tried to stop bleeding

Witnesses heard man say 'I'm dying, I'm dying'

20 September, 2018 — By Samantha Booth and William McLennan

A 25-year-old man was stabbed to death in Tufnell Park in what police believe may have been a botched robbery.

The young man, named locally as “Ali”, was found suffering a stab wound in Corinne Road, near the junction with Brecknock Road, at around 9.30pm on Tuesday.

Brett Thompson, who came to his aid, said: “[Two bystanders] tore his trousers off to try and stop the bleeding. I was reassuring him and talking to him.”

Witnesses described a single suspect fleeing the scene holding what appeared to be a large knife.

Police have not yet confirmed all details of the attack, but they did not rule out robbery and said multiple lines of enquiry were being explored. It is not thought to be part of an escalation of gang tensions that have resulted in several stabbings in recent weeks, which include a knife and baseball bat attack in King’s Cross on Saturday.

Police stop-and-search powers were temporarily enhanced in NW5 and N19 last night (Wednesday) to prevent further violence.

Mr Thompson, a former soldier in the Royal Engineers, ran out to help the victim after his son heard a man scream. The 64-year-old, of Melyn Close, said: “When I got there [two other people] had started to put him on the floor. He was coherent and in shock.

“He kept saying I’m dying, I’m dying, I can’t breathe.”

Mr Thompson added: “The paramedics couldn’t do anything for him.”

The victim, who is believed to be from Brent, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 10pm.

His death came just hours before London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced an initial £500,000 investment in a new “public health approach” to tackling violent crime. Known as the Violence Reduction Unit, it has been modelled on a scheme of the same name that was pioneered in Glasgow. It is intended to “improve co-ordination between the Metropolitan Police, local authorities, youth services, health services and criminal justice agencies”.

Mr Khan has been criticised for the increase in knife violence since he took office in 2016.

Separately, a much-anticipated report is due to be published tonight (Thursday) containing the findings of Camden’s Youth Safety Taskforce, which was set up to explore the root causes of a rise in knife violence.

Within the past 12 months, six young men aged 25 or under have been stabbed to death across Camden and Islington, which are now treated as a single unit by police.

Six teenagers accused of murdering Kentish Town teenager Lewis Blackman in west London in February are currently on trial at the Old Bailey.

On Saturday and Sunday night police were granted emergency powers under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, in an attempt to deter violence after officers received “information suggesting a rise in gang tensions”.
The controversial measure allows officers to stop and search people without the usual need for suspicion.

It followed an incident in Cromer Street, King’s Cross, on Saturday night in which police were called to reports that an 18-year-old man had been “confronted by a group of males who assaulted him with a baseball bat and stabbed him in the leg”.

It follows a near-fatal attack in King’s Cross a fortnight earlier that saw a 19-year-old man chased and stabbed multiple times by a large group. Police again used Section 60 powers to prevent further violence in the aftermath.

Police have asked for witnesses to Tuesday’s attack to come forward.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “Extra police will be in the area and a number of enquiries including the recovery of local CCTV footage, forensic analysis and appeals for information from the public are ongoing.”

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