IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Wounded man is hunted after Upper Street stabbing

Appeal for dash-cam footage as police search for suspect who fled scene

25 May, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

The scene of Monday’s murder, with a poster appealing for help after the killing of ‘JJ’ McPhillips last year still in place

DETECTIVES are hunting for a potentially injured suspect after a father-of-two was stabbed to death in broad daylight in busy Upper Street.

Marcel Campbell, 30, from Tottenham, died in the street after being attacked at about 6.30pm on Monday.

The Tribune understands police are searching for a man who was himself injured and fled from the scene near Udderlicious ice cream shop. One line of inquiry is that, to avoid detection, he has not sought professional medical help.

It is also understood that detectives are investigating who was in a van driving through Upper Street in the moments before the stabbing. With no arrests so far, police said they are searching for two males. They have launched an appeal to find dash-cam footage from drivers on the street during rush hour.

CCTV footage showed scared members of the public fleeing the scene and a man running away, although it is not known if he is connected with the incident.

Victim Marcel Campbell died at the scene

Webster Linton, 23, who had known Mr Campbell since he was a child, told the Tribune: “Marcel was a lovely guy. He never had a bad word to say about me and I will always remember that.

“I’m still in shock right now. His mum is lovely and bubbly and my deepest sympathy goes to her and the family.”

The attack happened close to where Jonathan “JJ” McPhillips was stabbed outside the Town Hall in February 2017, dying in hospital days later. A man was charged with his murder in February this year.

It is the third fatal stabbing in Islington this year.

In January, Steve Frank Narvaez-Jara, 20, from south London, died after being stabbed at Bartholomew Court, in Old Street, at a New Year’s Eve party. Kwasi Anim-Boadu, 20, from Camden, was killed on the Andover estate, in Finsbury Park, last month.

This week’s death is thought to have had a significant impact on the community in Tottenham where Mr Campbell and his family lived.

Dozens of flowers surround a lamppost close to the murder scene. One message says: “It’s hard to find the right words to say. Taken far too soon.”

Floral tributes left this week

Andy Hull, Town Hall executive member for community safety, sought to reassure residents. He said: “This was a senseless and brutal murder, but it was not a random attack on a passer-by.

“Residents and visitors can absolutely still live, work, travel and shop in Upper Street safely”.

St Mary’s Church, in Upper Street, opened its doors to many residents who were not allowed back into their homes on Monday night while a large police cordon was in place, including in Barnsbury Street. It was lifted late on Tuesday night.

The Reverend Simon Harvey said: “I’m horrified that once again our community has been rocked by a knife murder. We’ve seen too much of this. Too much anguish. Too many grieving hearts.”

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams said: “This was a brutal attack carried out on a busy street in broad daylight. I am asking anyone who saw the assault or has any information to contact detectives.

“In particular, we would like to hear from anyone who was driving in the area around this time and has dash-cam footage. Your information could be vital in helping us find out why a young man lost his life.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 3775 or contact via Twitter @MetCC or ring 101 quoting reference 5952/21 May.

To give information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

 ‘Witnesses need reassurance that they will be safe’

Michelle McPhillips: ‘Gang members think they control the street’

A MOTHER who lost her son to knife crime near the spot in Upper Street where another man was stabbed to death this week has urged police to reassure witnesses they will be protected if they come forward, writes Emily Finch.

Michelle McPhillips, whose son Jonathon “JJ”, was stabbed to death outside the Town Hall in February last year, said: “We need witnesses to come forward, but the problem is that with every single murder case people are scared to talk. People don’t want to face the consequences of giving evidence in court where they might have to go against a gang.

“Police need to be reassuring people that they will be protected if they give evidence and they can do it anonymously in court with names changed.”

Ms McPhillips, a popular landlady of the Green Man pub in Essex Road, added that there was a lack of communication between police and residents.

“There is no visible street presence of police in Islington so they seem unapproachable,” she said. “Islington feels like it is no longer a safe place to be. Absolutely nothing has progressed in safety since my son was stabbed.”

Ms McPhillips said that police officers failing to reassure potential witnesses of their safety were “empowering criminals”.

“Criminals and gang members think they have control of the street as everyone is too scared to come forward and give evidence against them in court,” she said. “How far is this going to go?

“I am telling Islington to wake up and start talking if you want your borough to be safe.”

At the Old Bailey last Wednesday, Michael Dyra, a 22-year-old from Hoxton, denied via video link a charge of murdering JJ. His trial is scheduled for August.

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