London

Boy, 14, found stabbed to death in Enfield park

A 14-year-old boy was found stabbed to death near a busy playground in a north London park.

Leroy James was discovered next to a climbing wall in Ponders End Recreation Ground, Enfield, on Wednesday evening.

According to witnesses, Leroy, from Edmonton, north London, was involved in an altercation with at least one other boy, Det Ch Insp Caroline Goode said.

Leroy's father, who is also named Leroy, said his son "will forever be remembered".

Leroy is the eighth teenager to be stabbed to death in London so far this year, according to the Metropolitan Police (Met).

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a single stab wound.

Ms Goode said there was no evidence it was a gang-related murder.

Friend's call

Police, who were called at about 17:30 BST, said Leroy was in the park with friends before he was attacked.

Leroy's father said he found out about the attack when one of his son's friends called him.

The 41-year-old scrap metal dealer said: "I was at home. [His friend just asked] me if I heard what happened.

"I said, 'what?' He said, 'Leroy has been stabbed'."

Appealing for witnesses, Ms Goode said: "We know that the park was incredibly busy at the time of the incident and many more people may be able to help us with our investigation."

Ms Goode said Leroy's family were "absolutely destroyed with the grief at losing their son".

She said: "Leroy James was a young person with hopes, ambitions and dreams.

"Someone has chosen to take those hopes and aspirations away and in doing so have robbed Leroy's family and friends of a much loved young man."

Image caption Leroy's father said his son had hopes, ambitions and dreams

A 13-year-old boy told BBC London he was playing football in the park when he saw the body.

He said: "I saw the body laying on the floor bleeding, so I just came home.

"I am feeling very sorry now. I don't know what to do, I am very scared."

Roxy Bagun, 19, who lives nearby, said Leroy used to play with her dog.

Describing him as a "good lad", she said: "I never saw him get into any trouble. He just hung around with kids his own age. His friends are so sweet and innocent."

Miss Bagun said she saw the youth's father visit the park on Wednesday evening.

"His dad was in bits, crying and crying and crying. I just didn't know what to say to him," she added.

Another resident, called Jenny, said: "I am not letting my sons go into the park again because it's dangerous. It's been going on for [a] long time, but not in Ponders End."

Councillor Christine Hamilton, cabinet member for well-being and public health in Enfield, said: "The death of any young person on our streets is a tragedy."

Leroy's friends have left tributes for him on Facebook.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites