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Lee Jay Hatley murder: Mum pays tribute to ‘funny, sociable’ son as fundraiser is launched

PUBLISHED: 17:24 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:12 30 June 2017

Lee Jay Hatley with his son. Picture: Met Police

Lee Jay Hatley with his son. Picture: Met Police

Archant

The family of Lee Jay Hatley have paid tribute to the funny and sociable young dad who was murdered in the early hours of Monday morning on Canonbury’s Dover Court Estate.

Bradley Wood.Bradley Wood.

A fundraising page has also been set up to raise cash to pay for Lee Jay’s funeral. It had raised more than £850 just hours after launching.

The 29-year-old, of Morland Mews in Barnsbury, was stabbed repeatedly in a Westcliff House flat where a group of people had gathered.

Police rushed Lee Jay to hospital but he died hours later.

The father-of-one was a close friend of Jonathon “JJ” McPhillips who was stabbed to death in Upper Street in February.

The gates of Morland Mews covered in floral tributes. Picture: Polly HancockThe gates of Morland Mews covered in floral tributes. Picture: Polly Hancock

Lee Jay’s mum Lesley Hatley told the Gazette: “He was a very sociable person, very funny – he had a good sense of humour.

“He loved music, everything from ’80s stuff to rap, and the girls liked him.

“He was my first born and was an only child for six years. We had a strong bond. I can’t cope at the moment, I am numb and have not accepted it. We need answers.”

Lesley is a close friend of JJ’s mother Michelle McPhillips, and the two of them are now campaigning for justice for both victims.

'Brother from another mother': A friend of Lee Jay's pays tribute. Picture: Polly Hanock'Brother from another mother': A friend of Lee Jay's pays tribute. Picture: Polly Hanock

“Knife crime is on the up,” Lesley added. “Children are killing children and they are not even getting to celebrate their 30th birthdays. They should be celebrating their 30th birthdays and they are not. It’s happening too often.”

Lee Jay’s younger sister Lauren also paid an emotional tribute. She said: “He was my brother and he was a nightmare, but he was my best friend. He loved going out, loved the girls and loved his baby.

“It’s unbearable. I don’t feel like I’m talking about my brother.”

A 22-year-old woman was also stabbed at the flat and is in hospital. She had been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but police are now treating her as another victim and are taking no further action. A 53-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released.

Detectives are hunting family friend Bradley Wood in connection with the murder.

The fundraiser was set up by Shane Yerrell, a close friend of JJ and Michelle’s who raised thousands to pay for JJ’s funeral. Michelle asked him to do the same for Lee Jay. To donate, click here.

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