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Erik Feld: Homophobic man obsessed with extreme violence found guilty of murdering victim with hammer in cemetery | UK News

A homophobic man has been found guilty of murdering a man in a cemetery after hitting him 12 times in the face and head with a claw hammer.

Erik Feld, who had an obsession with extreme violence, hid behind a monument in east London in the early hours of 16 August 2021 before causing “catastrophic” injuries to Ranjith Kankanamalage, who was unarmed.

The 50-year-old victim was found by a member of the public on a path in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park later that day.

During his trial, the defendant made a homophobic rant about the victim who has a family in Sri Lanka and was in a relationship in the UK.

Feld had “dark places in his soul” that were “not in the darkest recesses but very near the surface”, prosecutor Paul Cavin KC told jurors.

“The extraordinary homophobic outburst is obviously something you will not forget,” he said.

Jurors were told Mr Kankanamalage was a regular visitor to the “spooky” cemetery, which was known as a “cruising” hotspot.

Feld’s legal team claimed he hit out in self-defence after the victim allegedly made a pass at him.

His lawyer, Isabella Forshall KC, told the Old Bailey: “Mr Feld has got himself in a creepy place, he’s got himself lost. It’s dead of night.”

She said the defendant did not strike Mr Kankanamalage because he was a “homophobe” but because he “got the wrong end of the stick”.

Feld said when he saw the victim, he became worried he was going to be attacked and hit him in the back of the head with the hammer.

He claimed he swung out with the object several more times after he was pinned down on the ground.

However, prosecutor Mr Cavin dismissed Feld’s version of events as “inherently unlikely”, pointing out just one strike with the hammer would have incapacitated the victim.

Chinese consulate violence: Police identify ‘number of offences’ during Manchester demonstration | UK News

Police investigating an alleged attack at the Chinese consulate in Manchester have said they have identified a number of offences including assaults and public order offences in their investigation.

On 16 October, a peaceful pro-Hong Kong democracy rally outside the consulate turned violent.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is investigating the alleged assault of Bob Chan, after images appeared to show him being dragged into the consulate grounds before being punched and kicked.

Bob Chan Was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest
Bob Chan was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest

He claims he was left with cuts and bruises all over his body, and a senior diplomat was accused of being involved and pulling Mr Chan’s hair.

In a new update, the force said it is continuing to work with detectives to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

Investigators have been gathering a range of evidence including CCTV, police body-worn video, mobile phone footage, and witness statements from as many people involved as possible to assist in capturing a rounded understanding of what happened.

The force added that the number of offences identified includes assaults and public order offences that “concern events that left a man in his 30s with several minor physical injuries after being allegedly assaulted in the consulate grounds”.

Police said the alleged attack followed an initially peaceful protest that appeared to escalate, and they are looking to find out why.

Read more:
‘I was thinking I might die’: Hong Kong pro-democracy protester on Chinese consulate attack
Chinese consul-general defends actions after being seen pulling protester’s hair in Manchester

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Chinese consulate: What happened?

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes described the investigation as “a complex inquiry”.

He continued: “We’re continuing to gain a clearer understanding of the timeline of events that led to an initially peaceful protest escalating in the way it did. This has seen us identify a number of offences and potential suspects and victims.

“This is a sensitive but, importantly, objective investigation that will involve us working for as long as required to speak to all those concerned to achieve as many answers as we possibly can, and we will continue to provide updates where necessary in due course.”

Police said no other injuries were reported to them besides a minor physical injury to the hand of an officer who intervened to help remove the man in his 30s from the consulate grounds out of fear for his safety.

The force added it is actively seeking other potential victims of incidents during the disturbance.

No arrests have yet been made and enquiries continue.

Teenager dies after fireworks ‘hurled’ down street – as violence mars Bonfire Night in parts of UK | UK News

A teenager has died after being found injured near to where fireworks were being “hurled”, as Bonfire Night was marred by violence and anti-social behaviour in parts of the UK.

The 17-year-old boy was found hurt in the garden of a property in Halifax, West Yorkshire, shortly after 8pm on Saturday.

He was taken to hospital where he died, police said.

Yorkshire Live reported that the teenager had jumped over a fence and crashed into a greenhouse after “scenes of chaos” on Vickerman Street, as a large group threw fireworks towards police.

An eyewitness told the news outlet that fireworks were being “hurled” in the street at the time the teenager was found injured and described the scenes as “horrendous”.

West Yorkshire Police has referred itself to the watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, over the incident after officers had been called to the street “due to fireworks being set off”.

It came as police across the UK reported violence and anti-social behaviour linked to Bonfire Night, with disorder in Edinburgh branded “disgraceful”.

In West Yorkshire, riot officers were called in to deal with disorder in Leeds when fireworks were thrown towards police in the city’s Hyde Park area.

Elsewhere, four youths were arrested after police and fire service vehicles were attacked in the Bradford Moor area in the run up to Bonfire Night.

In Liverpool, two men were shot in an “horrendous incident” close to a Bonfire Night party.

A road was blockaded with fire and motorbikes raced through part of Edinburgh amid Bonfire Night chaos on Saturday.
Edinburgh’s council leader said there were ‘disgraceful’ scenes in the city

The victims suffered serious leg injuries and a suspect, dressed all in black, reportedly ran from the scene in Netherton at about 11.20pm on Saturday, Merseyside Police said.

In Greater Manchester, firefighters said they attended more than 200 incidents on “another busy Bonfire Night”.

In Eccles, a firework was thrown at firefighters who were trying to put out an unsupervised bonfire.

Fireworks were also aimed at crews responding to an incident in Crumpsall Park, Manchester, and a firework was reportedly put through the letterbox of a home in Salford.

In Edinburgh, a road was blockaded with fire and motorbikes raced through part of the city amid Bonfire Night chaos on Saturday.

Footage shared online showed a motorbike gang racing in the streets with fireworks being set off along the ground, seemingly aimed at people and vehicles.

Edinburgh’s council leader Cammy Day criticised the scenes, saying what happened was “disgraceful and disgusting”.

Man shot dead at gathering in Waltham Forest in ‘reckless act of violence’ named as police appeal for witnesses | UK News

A man who was fatally shot in Waltham Forest at a gathering of up to 100 people has been named by police.

Two men checked themselves into hospital following the incident, with Sam Brown, 28, dying from gunshot injuries.

His family has been informed.

A second man in his 30s has been discharged from hospital after suffering from stab wounds.

Officers were called to Cheney Row Park in Waltham Forest shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, after reports of shots being fired.

DCI Kelly Allen of Specialist Crime at the Metropolitan Police said: “My heart goes out to the family of Sam, who has lost his life in this reckless act of violence. I can assure them of my total dedication, and that of my team, to ensuring that they get justice.

“I believe there were 50 to 100 people gathered in and around Cheney Row Park at the time of the shooting with music playing. I urgently need to speak with everyone who was at that event – even if you do not believe you saw anything significant, you need to come forward and speak with officers.

“There will have been footage and images captured at the event, and we need to see these. Please ensure that all such material is saved – we will provide a link for it to be uploaded shortly.

“To anyone considering whether or not to come forward to police, I ask you to put yourself in the position of the victim’s grieving mother and father this morning. They deserve answers.

“And whoever took a gun to a gathering like this does not deserve your protection, nor do they deserve to be free to inflict further harm on others. Please do the right thing and make contact today.”

Anyone with information is asked contact police on 101, quoting reference 267/24jul – or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.