Man who died in Mile End park named

Ranjith Kakanamalage... found dying in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

Ranjith Kakanamalage... found dying in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. - Credit: Met Police

Police chiefs are appealing to the East End community for help after the death of Ranjith Kakanamalage in Mile End in what police say was “a suspected homophobic attack”. 

Ranjith, a 50-year-old also known as Roy who was gay, has just been named by Scotland Yard as the victim.   

Ranjith was found with a head injury in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in Southern Grove at 6.30am on August 16 and died at the scene.  

His death is being treated by the Met's East Central Command as "homophobically motivated". 

Tower Hamlets Cmdr Marcus Barnett...  "no place for any form of hate crime” 

Tower Hamlets Cmdr Marcus Barnett... "no place for any form of hate crime” - Credit: Mike Brooke

“I want to reassure the community that officers and detectives are working to bring those responsible to justice,” the Met’s Tower Hamlets borough commander Marcus Barnett said. 

“I urge the community to tell us what they might know about Ranjith and what happened to him. The slightest piece of information could prove crucial to the investigation.” 

Police patrols have been stepped up around Mile End and officers have been working with the LGBT community in the wake of the incident. 

Those who use the area, especially at night, are being asked to “report anything suspicious” to police and to be aware of their surroundings and avoid dimly-lit areas where possible. A crime scene is expected to stay in place for several days. 

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Det Supt Pete Wallis said: “We’ll 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, if they’ve seen someone acting suspiciously in the park or the area.  

“Ranjith's family are devastated and any information could help bring them justice." 

The cause of death was established as “blunt force trauma to the head” at a post-mortem examination on August 19.  

The LGBT+ independent advisory group’s Derek Lee 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 (public) safety.” 

He is also joining the appeal in urging those with information to contact police, Crimestoppers or the LGBT+ charity Galop.

Police investigators are “only interested in information relevant to the death” and privacy will be respected, he assures. 

Anyone with information is being asked to contact 020 8345 3865 or 101, tweet @MetCC quoting 1277/16, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. The Galop hotline is 020 7704 2040. 

A 36-year-old man arrested in connection with the investigation has been released on bail.