Family seek witnesses to Karl Hamilton’s 2004 murder in Bethnal Green
- Credit: Archant
Karl Hamilton was just a teenager caught up in a street fight when someone pulled a knife and ended his life.
Now nearly a decade on, his mum wants justice for Karl to see his killers behind bars.
Kim Williams has begun a campaign for a re-investigation and to try and end the culture of kids carrying knives in London’s violent East End which led to her 17-year-old son’s murder.
It opened with a public meeting on Bethnal Green’s Cranbrook estate on Saturday—less than a mile from the street where Karl tripped trying to flee the gang which then descended on him and stabbed him nine times on the night of January 10, 2004.
“I want justice for my son,” Kim told the Advertiser. “But my long-term aim is to get the community to stand together, no matter what their background.
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“We need to get into schools and youth groups—something needs to be done to educate our children about knives.
“I want youngsters to understand that it’s not just the family like mine that suffer—the whole community suffers.
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“The kids who carry knives are young and don’t realise till it’s too late that they’re destroying lives.”
Karl died on his way to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where he worked as a catering assistant.
“That hospital was his whole life,” Kim recalled. “My son was born there, worked there and died there.”
Kim lost another child that year, when her nine-year-old daughter Kirstie died from Asthma just 10 months later—she believes caused by the shock of Karl’s murder.
Karl died following a row over a £15 drug debt that his pal owed another youth for cannabis. The pals tried to back away when they saw knives beingt waved at them.
But he tripped because his shoelace was missing—and the gang descended on him, kicking him on the ground and stabbing him repeatedly.
Karl was living in Bethnal Green at the time with his grandmother, Elizabeth Hamilton, now 72, who worked with him at the Royal London.
Elizabeth said: “We are appealing for anyone with information to come forward—we need new evidence to draw this to a conclusion.”
The family is to ask police to reinvestigate the case and want the authorities put up a reward as in other long-term murder cases “to get people to come forward”.
Two youths were found not guilty at an Old Bailey murder trial in 2004 on the judge’s direction.
But the family is pinning hopes on the Double Jeopardy law which came in later which means the case could be reopened if there’s new evidence.