IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

‘A year on, my teenage son’s killers remain free’

As shrine to stabbed youth is built, father says that his life is now ‘dark’

31 January, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Nedim Bilgin was knifed to death in Caledonian Road on January 29 last year

A FATHER has spoken out about his anguish as he marked a year since his teenage son was stabbed to death while the killers remain at large.

Friends and family of Nedim Bilgin gathered on Wednesday to pay tribute to him in Bingfield Park, just off York Way, where the teenager played and socialised as he grew up.

Nedim’s father Nusret Bilgin said that the killers had taken “everything” from him and that his life was “dark” now. He spent hours in the park while a shrine of flowers and pictures of his son built up around him.

Part of the shrine to Nedim

Nedim was knifed to death in Caledonian Road, near the junction with Tilloch Street, on January 29 last year and nobody has been charged with the murder.

Mr Bilgin told the Tribune: “We feel very, very bad, we will never forget our boy. I still don’t believe what has happened. Last year, on January 29 at about seven o’clock, some cowards killed my son, my life, my everything.”

The police said that a group of boys were seen fleeing from the scene by eyewitnesses after Nedim was killed and five arrests were made in the wake of the murder but they were all released.

Almost £5,000 was fundraised by Nedim’s family in the days after the attack so that they could transport his body back to Turkey where his parents had originally come from.

Nedim, who attended St Mary Magdalene Academy in Liverpool Road, was a popular boy and he was often seen out in the area on his bike or in the nearby Copenhagen Youth Project as he grew up.

“He was very clever but maybe he had too many plans,” Mr Bilgin said.

“His friends loved him and he loved all his friends. He was a young boy and he was happy with his mates.”

He added: “His brothers feel dark. This has ruined our life. Everything is dark.”

Stephen Griffith, director of the Copenhagen Youth Project, went down to Bingfield Park in the evening with staff and Nedim’s friends.

Floral tributes were laid. One had a poem on it which said: “If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane. I would walk right up to Heaven, and bring you back again. All our love Hollie and Harrison.”

Mr Griffith said: “There were about 20 young people down there. We spoke about memories, about his bike which he was always on. There was some laughter and there was some crying.

“We reflected on what happened this time last year.

“It was a strange scenario. It happened on the high street with a lot of people around, but it took the police a long time to put a tent over his body so he was lying there. That is what we have to come to terms with and it has been a really traumatic year.

“We are now picking up the pieces with these children and working with them to help them through each day.”

A police spokesman said that the investigation remains open and that they are keeping Nedim’s family updated.

He added that they are “determined” to catch the killers.

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