£20k reward to find 'homophobic killer' after London cemetery death

Ranjith "Roy" Kankanamalage. Police are offering a £20,000 reward for information as they continue to investigate a suspected homophobic murder in a historic east London cemetery.
Ranjith "Roy" Kankanamalage - police are offering a £20,000 reward for information about his death Credit: Met Police

Police are offering a £20,000 reward for information as they continue to investigate a suspected homophobic murder in an east London cemetery.

Ranjith “Roy” Kankanamalage, 50, was found in the early hours of the morning in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Kankanamalage, a gay man who had lived in Tower Hamlets for many years, had died after being struck on the head.

Officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are investigating his murder as a homophobic hate crime.

They have offered a £20,000 reward for any information which could lead to the identification and conviction of Mr Kankanamalage’s killer.

The Met said in a statement detectives had pursued leads with the help of the local community but believe there may be key witnesses who have not yet come forward.

Police have also released images of two men known to have been near the cemetery at the time of the attack and who they feel may hold information which could be crucial in the investigation.

CCTV image of a man police are looking for as officers investigate a suspected homophobic murder Credit: Met Police

The first of the two possible witnesses is described as being of medium build with short, light-coloured hair, and wearing a dark T-shirt, light-blue shorts, dark-brown trainers and carrying a black backpack.

The second person is also of medium build but with short dark hair and was wearing a dark jacket and dark trousers.

CCTV image of a second man police want to trace Credit: Met Police

"We understand that given the circumstances of the murder, people may be reluctant to come forward," said Detective Superintendent Pete Wallis, from the Met’s specialist crime command.

"We continue to urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they believe it to be, to report it to police or any of our LGBT+ partners. We are particularly appealing to the two people pictured to come forward.

"I can assure the public that any information shared will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and consideration. My colleagues and I remain dedicated to finding Ranjith’s killer."

Derek Lee, from the Met’s LGBT+ advisory group, added: "We appeal for anyone who knows anything about this horrendous crime to come forward using the many channels available. We are aware that, while it remains unsolved, this is causing considerable concern amongst LGBTQ+ people in Tower Hamlets and across London.

"We are advising the police on sensitive ways of keeping our parks safe and wider reassurance for all communities. At the same time we ask everyone to please use common sense when going home or out late at night. We must all be vigilant."

People with information are urged to contact 101, giving the reference 1277/16AUG.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or to GALOP on 0207 7704 2040 or ELOP on 020 8509 3898.