Police believe they have found the murder weapon used to kill a young father at a child’s birthday party.
Akilankumar Kanthasamy, 29, was fatally stabbed at about 11.30pm on Saturday night at what was supposed to be a night of celebration at the New Horizon Centre in South Lodge Avenue, Mitcham.
At a packed public meeting at the community centre last night, the detective leading the investigation revealed that a kitchen knife had been recovered 15 minutes before the meeting and he was hopeful that those responsible would be found within days.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dunne told residents: “We do have one man in custody at the moment and I anticipate we will have two in custody by tomorrow morning.
“I’m pretty certain I’ve got the murder weapon and I would anticipate that, by the end of the week, we’ll have some very good news in terms of seizing the perpetrators and having them charged.”
'Murder was not gang-related'
DCI Dunne added he did not believe the killing was related to gangs and that Mr Kanthasamy had been “in the wrong place at the wrong time” after a group of youths began hanging outside the centre on Saturday night and tried to steal from guests.
He said: “There seems to have been an incident some minutes before this stabbing happened, perhaps up to half an hour, that we would class as a robbery.
“Then there was an incident that began again outside the car park. There was a discussion, some words were exchanged between two groups: a group of men from within this party and a group of younger youths from this area."
He added: “These groups were not known to each other. This appears to be something that has happened fairly spontaneously… this is not any sort of inter-gang rivalry. This is more opportunistic than anything else.”
The heated public meeting, organised by Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh, revealed deep concerns from residents on the nearby Pollards Hill estate about the problems of gangs, drug dealing, insufficient lighting on the estate and a lack of a police presence.
Police urge concerned residents to report crime
Speaking after the meeting, 44-year-old Delroy Jackson said: “I thought this meeting was a waste of time to be frank with you. Everyone knows that the same kids are hanging around drinking and causing trouble.
“They just speak to us like managers, not real people. I don’t see why someone needs to get killed to actually get people to listen to us anyway.”
Chief Inspector Jim Cook, Merton police’s liaison with Merton Council, urged residents to report suspicious behaviour wherever they saw it, otherwise police would not be able to address their concerns.
Chief Insp Cook said: “Unfortunately we live in a world of limited resources and everyone knows the financial pressure we’re under like everyone else. We have to work smarter and be more flexible with our approach.
“If you see a crime being committed, you must report it otherwise we don’t know about it.”
Ms McDonagh revealed she had met the victim’s widow, 22-year-old Parmita Kanthasamy, to personally express her condolences on Monday.
Ms McDonagh said: “I’m sure that we would all like to pass our condolences on to the family of the young wife and baby of the man who died. It’s actually unbelievable that this has happened.”
Any witnesses, or anyone with any information about this tragic incident, should call the Incident Room on 020 8721 4906 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.