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Tributes to ‘bubbly young man’ killed in club stabbing

24-year-old always made friends laugh

29 November, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Akeem Dylon Barnes

FRIENDS and former teachers of a 24-year-old man who had grown up going to an Islington secondary school have paid tribute to the “bubbly” man who “loved to laugh” after he was stabbed to death.

Akeem Dylon Barnes, who was known as Dylon to his friends, was at an unlicensed club night in east London when he was knifed in a brawl at about 6am on Sunday morning.

Mr Barnes, who went to the Arts and Media School Islington until 2011, was found by paramedics and police slumped in a petrol station in Ilford with blood pouring from his stomach.

CCTV shows him being driven there by a friend before he stumbles out of the car and collapses in front of a shocked shop-keeper.

He died about six hours later in the hospital.

Truman Lawson, who has taught at Arts and Media School Islington in Turle Road, Finsbury Park, for about 20 years, said: “He was a very bubbly character. He was very funny and he loved to laugh. That was him. He did his work but at the same time liked to have fun.”

Mr Lawson added: “I never had a cross word with him. Like every teenager he did foolish things, but he wasn’t disrespectful and he would take advice.

“He was very sporty and he loved football. We tried to steer him towards a more academic career but he said he wanted to be a footballer.”

A post-mortem examination conducted at West Ham Mortuary on Tuesday found the cause of Mr Barnes’ death to be a stab wound.

On the same night a second man, also aged 24, was brought into an east London hospital with stab injuries.

Officers believe both stabbings were as a result of the incident in Telegraph Mews, Ilford.

Mr Lawson said: “It really did make me reflect, it is so tragic he has died at 24, he embraced life.

“It’s such a waste for someone to die at such a young age.”

He added: “His mother must be uncontrollably sad. She was so supportive when he was here. She turned up to every parent-teachers meeting.”

A friend of Mr Barnes, who lives near Angel but did not want to be named, said: “He was a really good boy. He would make us laugh so much. I can’t believe he’s gone. What is going on in London right now?”

Homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command now lead the investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector John Hughes, said: “We are renewing our appeal for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. One man is now dead and a second, who is now in a stable condition, could easily have shared the same fate.

“It is vital that we find those responsible for this vicious, and in the case of Dylon, deadly attack.

“I urge those who know the killers not to protect them, help us remove dangerous, violent individuals from your community.

There have been no arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting 1776/24NOV .

Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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