Police offer £20k reward after man killed in vile homophobic attack in cemetery

Detectives investigating the homophobic murder of a man in an east London cemetery are offering £20,000 for any information which could lead to the identification and conviction of his killer.

Ranjith Kankanamalage, known as ‘Roy’, was violently attacked and killed in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, near Mile End tube station on Monday, 16 August.

Officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are investigating the 50-year-old's murder, which has been categorised as a homophobic hate crime.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death was “blunt force trauma to the head”.

In August, a 36-year-old man was arrested in connection to the investigation into Ranjith’s murder, but he was later released on police bail.

Detectives have been able to pursue a number of lines of enquiry with the help of the local community, but they believe there may still be key witnesses who have not yet come forward.

In addition to the offer of a financial reward, they are releasing images of two men who they know to have been in the vicinity of the cemetery at the time of the attack and who may hold information which could prove invaluable to the investigation.

The first of the two possible witnesses is described as medium build, with short, light coloured hair, wearing a dark t-shirt, light blue shorts, dark brown trainers and carrying a black backpack.

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The second person is also of medium build but with short dark hair, wearing a dark jacket and dark trousers.

Detective Superintendent Pete Wallis, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command: “We understand that given the circumstances of the murder, people may be reluctant to come forward.

"We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they believe it to be, to report it to police or any of our LGBT+ partners. We are particularly appealing to the two people pictured to come forward.

"I can assure the public that any information shared will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and consideration. My colleagues and I remain dedicated to finding Ranjith's killer."

Derek Lee, from the Met's LGBT+ Advisory Group, said: "We appeal for anyone who knows anything about this horrendous crime to come forward using the many channels available. 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."

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