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Man killed in 'homophobic' attack in East London named by police

Ranjith Kankanamalage, 50, was found unresponsive in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and later pronounced dead at the scene.

2021-08-27

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Metropolitan Police

Police have named the man who was killed in a suspected homophobic attack in East London.

On Monday 16 August, Ranjith Kankanamalage, 50, was found unresponsive in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination later concluded that the cause of death was "blunt force trauma to the head". His family is being supported by specialist officers.

“A horrific murder”

According to the Metropolitan Police, the London Ambulance Service was called to the cemetery at around 06:30 am on 16 August to reports that a man had been found unresponsive.

Police said Mr. Kankanamalage, or ‘Roy’, had lived in Tower Hamlets for a number of years. They’ve also confirmed that the incident is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.

A 36-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the incident has since been released on bail. A crime scene is ongoing in the park and will do for a number of days.

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: "This is a horrific murder and my thoughts are with Ranjith’s family and loved ones. Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure that community that my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.

“I also want to be really clear that there is no place, at all, in London for any form of hate crime and the Met is absolutely committed to tackling it and supporting victims. We are here for you.

Ranjith Kankanamalage (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

DCS Barnett also extended his gratitude to the support the investigation has had from the LGBTQ community and organisations and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Derek Lee, from the LGBT+ Advisory Group, has said: it’s working with the police to address the LGBT issues in the investigation following what he called a “tragic death”

Anyone with information is being encouraged to call the Metropolitan Police on 0208 345 3865, call 101, or Tweet @MetCC quoting 1277/16. Alternatively, you can give information by clicking here

To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

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