IslingtonTribune

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Mum of murdered JJ McPhillips plans memorial in square he loved

Michelle McPhillips plans bench and tree memorial for her son

18 April, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Michelle McPhillips and a young JJ on a bench in Milner Square

A PERMANENT memorial to murdered Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips will be placed in Milner Square, the place he called home before his life was tragically cut short at 28.

His mother Michelle is planning to put an engraved bench in the middle of the square, where she used to sit with JJ and push him around in his pram. She is also speaking to the Town Hall about planting a tree, an oak or a willow, in the square when it is refurbished later this year.

Father-of-two JJ was fatally stabbed outside Islington Assembly Hall in February. Hundreds of people turned out for his funeral, which started in the square and ended at Islington Crematorium, earlier this month.

“This really is for his little girls [Lexi-Jae, four, and Evie-Rose, two]. Lexi-Jae is finding it particularly hard – she keeps asking why they couldn’t fix Daddy’s heart. This way they will be able to go there and say ‘this is Daddy’s bench’.

“It will be in the place I sat with him as a little boy. JJ loved Milner Square and we want to make sure he is never forgotten here.”

Ms McPhillips said her son’s ashes would be interred at the family plot at Islington Crematorium, though some will be kept back to scatter in Milner Square.

Ms McPhillips, family and friends are also due to take part in a march against violence, from Islington Town Hall to Hackney Town Hall, on Sunday, May 7. It has been organised by The Crib youth club in Hackney in memory of young father Moses Fadairo, 25, who was shot dead in Chatsworth Road.

Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, finance, and performance, Councillor Andy Hull, said: “The death of ‘JJ’ McPhillips is a terrible tragedy.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this time and we are talking with them about plans for a suitable memorial to JJ, in Milner Square.”

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