Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Men involved in fatal Ilford fight ‘may have been embroiled in an ongoing dispute’

A group of men involved in a fight that left three dead may have been embroiled in an ongoing dispute, police have said.

The victims, in their late 20s and early 30s, suffered stab injuries in the violence in Ilford, east London, on Sunday evening.

All three were pronounced dead at the scene in Salisbury Road, Seven Kings.

Two men, aged 29 and 39, were arrested on suspicion of murder on Sunday and remain in custody.

The Metropolitan Police said they believe five men were involved in another altercation the previous evening at the nearby Krystel Banqueting venue, with the clash spilling out on to the High Road.

It is thought those involved were known to each other.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, leading the investigation, said: “At this early stage, I do not believe this was gang or race-related.

“But I believe there may have been an ongoing dispute between those involved.

"We believe the five men were involved in an altercation the previous evening at Krystel Banqueting.

“I would encourage anyone in the local communities who knows what the motivation for this attack was, or to anyone who may have seen an altercation late on Saturday evening at Krystel Banqueting, or the incident itself on Salisbury Road, to contact us and tell us what they know.”

Two men have been arrested following the stabbing. Credit: Pool

Speaking at the scene on Monday, Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said the arrested men and the victims were all known to each other.

"We believe the groups involved are members of the Sikh community," he said.

Officers are still contacting members of the dead men's families, he said.

"It was a horrific scene for anyone to come across and my heart goes out to the families and those affected by it because it is unprecedented to have something like this," he added.

Police are still investigating a motive but have ruled out terrorism, he said.

Scaffolder Louis O'Donoghoe was watching the snooker when he heard screaming and shouting outside his house in what he said sounded like a foreign language.

"It was just chaos, absolute chaos.

"It was like something out of a movie. Horrific," the 40-year-old said of the aftermath.

He saw the ambulance service working on one person, and then realised there were another two bodies, at which point he went outside to see what was going on.

"I could see it all, one (body) to the left, two at the bottom of the stairs.

"It was pretty horrific really.

"I've never seen anything like it to be honest.

"It's like something on a movie."

He said his girlfriend was left "distraught" by what happened and he had come home from work early to be with her.

He had heard "fighting and arguing" in the street outside his house on previous occasions, he said, but was not sure of the reason for Sunday's stabbings.

During a visit to the area, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the incident as "shocking, horrific and scary".

Standing with Chief Supt Clayman, Mr Khan said: "We've seen over the last few years they (police) are under-resourced and overstretched and they need our help to deal with the scourge of the increase in knife crime we've seen across our country, and London hasn't escaped that."

Mr Khan met with local residents, some of whom complained of antisocial behaviour in the area, including drug-dealing, and they called for more police on the streets.

Sukhbir Bassi, a member of the Singh Sabha Sikh temple, works with young people and told Mr Khan the city's east is "not safe".

"We appreciate you coming down but in Parliament they need to listen. East London is not safe. We need more police officers," he said.

There will be an increased police presence in the area in the coming days to provide reassurance to locals, Mr Clayman said.

Formal identification of the deceased has yet to take place, and officers are working on informing the next of kin.

Post-mortem examinations have also yet to be arranged.

  • Anyone with information is asked to call the Met's incident room on 020 8345 3865 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.