Call to remain vigilant after gay man killed in park in Mile End

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

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

A fresh appeal for witnesses has been made three weeks after an "horrendous" fatal attack on a gay man in Mile End.

The police are urging people to come forward if they have information about the death of Ranjith Kankanamalage who was attacked and killed in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on August 16.

Scotland Yard is investigating the death which has been categorised as a homophobic hate crime.

Det Ch Supt Marcus Barnett, policing commander for Tower Hamlets and Hackney, said: "My thoughts are with Ranjith’s family and loved ones.

"Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure [the] community my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.

"There is no place at all in London for any form of hate crime. The Met is committed to tackling it and supporting victims."

Police have scoured the 27 acre park for clues and issued a second witness appeal on the third week after the attack.

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Officers were posted at the park's entrances between 10pm on Sunday, September 5 and 6am this morning (September 6) in a bid to reassure the public and share the appeal.

Police released a photograph of Ranjith - known as Roy - who officers described as a gentle, friendly man who travelled to the UK from Sri Lanka. The 50-year-old was also a Buddhist.

Derek Lee, from the LGBT+ Advisory Group, appealed to anyone with information about the "horrendous" crime to come forward. 

"We are aware that, while it remains unsolved, this is causing considerable concern amongst LGBTQ+ people in Tower Hamlets and across London.

"We are advising the police on sensitive ways of keeping our parks safe and wider reassurance for all communities. At the same time we ask everyone to please use common sense when going home or out late at night. We must all be vigilant," Mr Lee said.

Anyone with information should call 020 8345 3865 or 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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

LGBT+ Advisory Group sees independent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people advising and monitoring the police on issues affecting LGBT+ people.