Second man arrested in connection with suspected homophobic murder in London cemetery

met police Ranjith Kankanamalage who was named as the victim killed in an alleged homophobic attack in london

A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the suspected homphobic murder of Ranjith Kankanamalage in an east London park in August.

Police arrested the suspect Wednesday (October 27) but enquiries into the incident are still ongoing, according to the Evening Standard.

Kankanamalage, also known as Roy, was fatally attacked in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and died of “blunt force trauma to the head” on the morning of August 16.

He was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene, a known cruising spot. He was just 50 years old and had lived in the area for “many years”.

Days after the attack a 36-year-old man was arrested in connection. He was subsequently released on bail to a date in mid-November. 

Officers from the Specialist Crime unit were investigating the murder, and categorised it as a homophobic hate crime. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, policing commander for Hackney and Tower Hamlets previously said to the Evening Standard: “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,” he added. 

Investigating officers reached out to local LGBT+ advisory groups to “understand the community that Roy chose to live in” said detective superintendent Pete Wallis, who was the officer in charge of the investigation, and to keep them updated.

However, in the aftermath of Kankanamalage’s death the Met Police were accused of “victim blaming” after warning gay people to “prioritise their personal safety by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding listening to loud music, and avoiding dimly-lit areas where possible.”

Many were angry about the advice, and asked that the Met Police simply “keep the whole community safe” regardless.