Tragic Ahmed plunges 70ft to death in bid to escape tower block gang
PUBLISHED: 19:47 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:33 05 October 2010
POLICE are looking for a group of bike youths after 16-year-old Ahmed Benyermak plunged 70ft to his death from a tower block in East London. They are appealing for witnesses after he fell while scaling down the outside of the block in Paragon-road in Hackney at 3.45pm, trying to get away from the gang. Ahmed died a day before getting the results of his nine GCSEs he passed at his school
POLICE are looking for a group of youths on bikes who chased 16-year-old Ahmed Benyermak to his death a tower block in East London.
A panicked Ahmed tried desperately to clamber down the outside of the 13-storey block in Hackney to get away from the youths thought to have been armed with knives when he plunged to his death from the seventh floor yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).
His 'escape' path was blocked by a metal grille and he lost his footing and fell 70ft at the block in Paragon-road, off Hackney’s Mare-street, at about 3.45pm.
Ahmed (pictured) died a day before getting the results of his nine GCSEs he passed at nearby Hackney Free & Parochial Secondary school.
He was due to begin at Tower Hamlets sixthform college in Poplar next month to study mechanics, his family said.
His mother Naima Abdian, 40, said: “This should have been one of the happiest days of our lives—but it is now one of the saddest.
“My boy will never know how well he did. He was excited about his GCSEs and had been talking to me about his results that day.
“He was confident that he was going to do well and just went out with a couple of friends and was up there near the school to find out what time he could pick up his result the next day.”
She added: “You never think it will happen to your child. Now I am afraid for all my children.”
Floral tributes have been left at the spot where he fell.
Ahmed was the eldest of four children in his family, of Moroccan origin, living at Balcorne-street in Homerton—less than half-a-mile from the tower block where he plunged to his death.
Ambulance paramedics from the London Ambulance Service at 4pm yesterday pronounced dead when they arrived at the tower block.
He was with friends when he was chased by the gang, some of whom witnesses said were carrying knives.
They escaped into Hackney’s Trelawney Estate and ended up on a balcony on the 13th floor. But the gang caught up with them and trapped Ahmed trying to get away.
One witness, James Roberts, 45, said: “A gang of five kids was chasing him and were probably trying to stab him. He tried to climb down each balcony, but then he fell.”
Police from the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate have opened an incident room.
Det Chief Ins Ian Stevenson said: “This is a tragic and unnecessary death.
“The teenager was with a group of friends on the 13th floor when they became concerned about another group of youths cycling towards the building.
“This caused them to leave the area, but he was separated from his friends.
“He climbed out onto the outside of the block through an open balcony and down several floors trying to escape.
“He managed to reach down to the seventh floor when he could no longer carry on.
“After this point he fell to his death.”
The detective chief described the group involved as black youths, some wearing hooded tops, others wearing bandanas, all riding pedal cycles.
A post-mortem today at Poplar Mortuary gave cause of death as a ruptured aorta.
There was no indication he had been attacked before he fell, Scotland Yard confirmed. There have been no arrests.
Ahmed was due to collect his GCSE results today (Thursday).
His headmaster Richard Brown said: “We expected today to be about GCSE results—but what you then find is one of the youngsters who has worked very hard for his GCSEs has been the victim of this tragedy.
“Ahmed had only been here a year. The great thing is he achieved nine GCSEs.
“His family are proud of Ahmed getting Cs in Maths and Science as well as two other C grades.”
The school insists there is “almost no issue to do with gangs” because it tries to create a community.
“But suddenly we have had this dreadful tragedy—possibly as a result of gang activity,” added Mr Brown.
Police forensic experts were studying the area around the tower block, where floral tributes have since been laid with tributes to Ahmed.
Five of the six youths involved left the area on bikes after Ahmed fell, according to evidence later recovered on CCTV.
They were seen riding on cycles along Paragon-road, away from Mare-street.
The sixth youth walked away—leaving his bike at the scene.
Police have recovered the bike which is being forensically examined.
They are appealing to witnesses who saw Ahmed fall from the seventh storey or anyone with information about the incident iat 3.45pm yesterday (August 20) to contact the incident room on 020-8345 1570, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.