A man who was battered to death in a suspected homophobic attack inside a cemetery has been pictured for the first time.
Ranjith Kakanamalage was attacked and left for dead in Tower Hamlets, East London, on August 16.
The 50-year-old, also known as Roy, was a gay man who had lived in the area for many years, cops said. They added that the incident is being treated as a homophobic hate crime.
Officers were called by the London Ambulance Service following reports of a man found unresponsive. Police found Mr Kakanamalage with a head injury and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to have been blunt force trauma to the head.
Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett said: “This is a horrific murder and my thoughts are with Ranjith’s family and loved ones.
“Whilst such incidents are thankfully still very rare in London, I want to reassure that community that my officers and specialist detectives are working tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.
“I also want to be really clear that there is no place, at all, in London for any form of hate crime and the Met is absolutely committed to tackling it and supporting victims. We are here for you.”
Police have increased patrols in the area and officers have been working with the LGBT+ Advisory Group and LGBT+ charities including Galop, Elop and Positive East to inform and encourage members of the community to stay safe in the wake of the incident, The Sun reports.
A crime scene remains in the park and is expected to stay in place for a number of days, and a 36-year-old man arrested in connection with the attack has been released on bail.
Detective Superintendent Pete Wallis said: “My officers are working 24/7 with local colleagues and drawing from resources across the Met. We will stop at nothing to bring justice to Ranjith’s family, who have been left devastated following this awful incident.
“I need anyone who has information to contact us immediately. Have you seen someone in the park or area who was acting suspiciously? It is imperative that you tell us what you know. Ranjith’s family are devastated, and your information could help us bring them justice.”
Derek Lee, from the LGBT+ Advisory Group, said: “We are a voluntary group of independent advisors working closely with the local police, local council and the homicide team on this case.
“We are making sure that LGBT+ issues are addressed in the investigation of this tragic death as well as the wider police response regarding safety in Tower Hamlets and the whole of London.
“If you have any information, please contact the police, Crimestoppers or the LGBT+ charity, Galop. The investigation team is clear that they are only interested in information relevant to the case and your privacy will be respected.”