Admiral Duncan pub nail bomb memorial ‘missing’

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The memorial plaque installed to commemorate the victims of a nail bomb at central London pub the Admiral Duncan, has disappeared.

The metal memorial was located in St Anne’s Gardens churchyard, nearby to the Admiral Duncan in Soho’s Old Compton Street, and listed the name of victims Andrea Dykes, John Light and Nick Moore.

It was put in place after the explosion took place on 30 April 1999.

Westminster City Council, which manages St Anne’s, said the replacement plaque would be installed on Monday 29 April.

Anti-hate crime charity 17-24-30 had expressed hopes that the replacement would be in place for Tuesday, which marks the 14th anniversary of the attack. The charity also launched an appeal for information regarding the missing plaque.

“If anyone has taken the plaque, I hope that they will return it,” said Mark Healey of 17-24-30. “It is a shame that it has gone missing as we approach the 14th anniversary of these horrific attacks.”

On Tuesday  a two minute silence will be held at the memorial at 18:37BST, as a part of the service to mark the anniversary of the attack.

The memorial service will pay tribute to Andrea Dykes, 27, who was four months pregnant, John Light, 32 the best man at her wedding, and their friend, Nick Moore, 31, who were all killed in the attack.

It was one of three nail bomb attacks by David Copeland in the same month, which killed three people, while injuring 80.

While the incidents in Brixton and Brick Lane were targeted directly towards ethnic minorities, the Admiral Duncan bombing was an attack intended to kill gay people.

Copeland received six life sentences, with a minimum of 50 years in prison.

Councillor Ed Argar, the council’s cabinet member for city management said:  “I find it appalling that anyone would steal the memorial plaque remembering those who died and were injured in the horrific Soho bombing of 1999.

“We have moved swiftly to get a replacement memorial delivered and installed ahead of the 14th anniversary of the Soho bombings.”

The Metropolitan Police said the missing plaque had not been reported as a crime, but that officers had visited the location on Monday.

Healey, the organiser of the 17-24-30 hate crime vigils, paused with his Olympic torch in Soho last year, to remember victims of anti-gay crimes after running in the official relay in south London.