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Gazette comment: The fight for justice goes on for Ronke

PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 May 2019

"We want justice": Abraham Badru's family and friends call for help to trace his killers outside Hackney Town Hall. Picture: EMMA BARTHOLOMEW

Emma Bartholomew

The pain of your loved one being murdered must of course be unbearable by any stretch of the imagination - but when no one's been brought to justice for their killing that heartbreak is heightened.

Unfortunately, last year seven people were killed in this borough. And while some cases have been solved and the killers jailed, there's not been one arrest in the case of Abraham Badru.

It's not hard to understand his mother Ronke's distress when the police put out an appeal on the first anniversary of his death saying it could have been a case of "mistaken identity" or linked to "one of his girlfriends".

She felt forced to take matters into her own hands this week, assembling friends and family for a march to the town hall pleading for anyone with information to get in touch.

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"Abraham helped people get justice so please help Abraham get justice," she pleaded.

For her it's obvious his death is the result of him being forced to give evidence as the key witness at a gang rape trial in 2007 when he was a mere 14-years-old.

It's vexing that throughout the Old Bailey trial he was picked up in a police car from the same estate the rapists lived on, and dropped back there every night.

No attempt was made to hide his identity from the accused, and within no time at all he started to get death threats. But tragically no one in authority protected him - despite his bravery in standing up to the rapists.

Despite asking to be moved out of Hackney, Ronke was re-homed a few hundred metres away in Dalston. Abraham was forced to move to Bristol for his sixth form studies. He visited his mother in fear - and on came face to face with one of the rapists.

He should never have been left to fend for himself. And now his mother is left fighting for justice as the rest of the world moves on.

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