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Nashon Esbrand stabbing: Why did they want to kill a ‘good kid’?

Murder detectives believe death of 27-year-old, who was set upon just moments after dropping off his nine-day-old daughter, was not a random attack

01 September, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Nashon Esbrand, was was found with knife wounds in Mitchison Road, off Essex Road, last Thursday

THE third young man to be stabbed to death on the streets of Islington within six months was the victim of a coordinated attack, police have said.

Friends of 27-year-old Nashon Esbrand, who was found with knife wounds in Mitchison Road, off Essex Road, last Thursday, said he was a “good kid” who was set upon just moments after dropping off his nine-day-old daughter.

The latest in a series of fatal stabbings has led anti-knife crime campaigners to demand that Islington Council install additional CCTV cameras in known crime hotspots.

The victim, nicknamed Vades, was walking to his mother’s house when he was stabbed just before 7pm, relatives have said.

Murder detectives believe that it “wasn’t a random attack”. They are trying to determine why someone would want to kill him.

Neighbours said they fought to save the former Central Foundation Boys’ School student’s life after they heard shouting in their road. He collapsed less than 100 metres from his mother’s home.

Flowers were left outside on Friday, while a murder investigation was launched by detectives. No one had been arrested yesterday (Thursday).

One friend, who left flowers and wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. He was a nice, kind, good kid.”

Mark Maciver, who runs D&L’s Barbershop in Holloway, paid tribute to Mr Esbrand, who had his hair cut weekly there for the past three years, even modelling for the barbershop’s online video channel. “Whenever someone passes away, people feel obliged to say he was a nice guy, or had a good heart. In this case, he was a nice guy, straight up,” he said.

“He had a baby nine days before he died. He was so excited. He was in here telling everyone, showing her picture.

 

Flowers left at the spot near Mr Esbrand’s mother’s home

“Everyone has said it’s really upset them. I know the next time he would have come in here he would have been like: ‘You all right boys? See what happened on the weekend?’ because he was a Man United fan.”

A relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said Mr Esbrand’s family were in “shock” following the stabbing.

“He was very approachable,” the relative said. “He was like a mate, more like a best friend. The person he was, I can’t see him getting involved in gangs. I think it was mistaken identity and it’s completely horrible.

“If anything it’s more of a shock that it happened to him when he was having such a good life. Then he just went.”

Mr Esbrand was taken to an east London hospital by ambulance but died in the early hours of Friday. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as stab wounds.

The killing took place a stone’s throw from Dover Court estate, where 29-year-old Lee Jay Hatley was stabbed to death three months ago.

Anti-knife campaigner Michelle McPhillips (above), whose son Jonathon was stabbed to death in Upper Street in February, called on the Town Hall to install more CCTVs in crime hotspots, including Essex Road, near where Mr Esbrand was found stabbed.

“I’m devastated this has happened again. Another Islington mother has lost her son,” she said.

Councillor Joe Caluori, Islington’s children and young people chief, said the Town Hall had launched an anti-gangs team last year focused on preventing knife crime, and would be increasing anti-knife programmes in schools for the autumn.

“We are taking an early intervention approach, talking to young people as early as possible about the risks of carrying a knife. We try to identify the young people at the greatest risk,” he said.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, appealed for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

She said: “At this early stage of our investigation, and while we are keeping an open mind regarding a motive, we believe this wasn’t a random attack on Nashon.

“Therefore, we are keen to hear from anyone who knew Nashon and could help us build a picture of his life, and hopefully why someone would want to attack him.”

Witnesses are urged to call the incident room on 020 8785 8244 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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