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Man charged with murder following death of gay man in east London cemetery

Ranjith 'Roy' Kankanamalage, 50, died of blunt force trauma to the head last August.

2022-01-25

Words: Will Stroude; Image: Wiki Commons (left) and Metropolitan Police

A 36-year-old man has been charged with murder following the death a gay man in an east London cemetery last year.

Eric Feld, of Tredegar Roadin in Bow, east London, appeared in custody at Thames Magistrates' Court on Saturday, 22 January charged with the murder of Ranjith 'Roy' Kankanamalage, who was found unresponsive in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park on the morning of Monday 16 August.

Feld was originally arrested on Monday 20 August last year before subsequently being bailed and re-arrested on the morning of Friday 21 January.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at approximately 7am on 16 August 2021 following reports that a man had been found unresponsive in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, a statement from the Met Police confirms.

Officers and London Ambulance Service paramedics attended the scene and found Tower Hamlets resident Mr Kankanamalage, 50, with a head injury. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem determined the cause of death to be "blunt force trauma to the head".

Speaking to MyLondon at a vigil for Mr Kankanamalage in October, a friend described the Sri Lankan national as a "kind and generous soul" who is "missed terribly".

"Ranjith was our dear friend and we miss him terribly, he was a person like you and me who had dreams and aspirations," the friend said.

"Ranjith was a kind and generous soul who arrived from Sri Lanka 12 years ago to further his studies and support his family.

"It is difficult to process and comprehend what has happened, but we hope justice is served to whoever carried out this devastating crime."