Alan Cartwright memorial on Caledonian Road destroyed in suspected arson this morning
- Credit: Archant
The sister of murdered teenager Alan Cartwright was today “sickened” after her brother’s memorial was ruined in a suspected arson attack.
Cherrie Smith, 22, said it made her relive the night Alan, 15, was stabbed to death while cycling in Caledonian Road on February 27.
The memorial was at Cally Pool, the spot where Alan collapsed and died after he was stabbed in the chest by Joshua Williams, who was jailed for a minimum 21 years in September. It featured two bikes, photos, flowers and letters.
A passing paramedic crew spotted the blaze and extinguished it at 5.30am. Islington CID is investigating the incident as a suspected arson.
Ms Smith told the Gazette this afternoon: “I got a phone call this morning. It was my mum, crying her eyes out.
“I went down, saw the police officers and cordons, and it gave me flashbacks of when I was there on the night Alan was killed.
“We haven’t done anything wrong by having the memorial there. Alan didn’t do anything wrong. We wanted the memorial to keep his memory alive, and remind people of what happened to him.
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“It just looks awful now. To think it happened just two months after the trial finished, and someone does that. I’m sickened.”
Ms Smith said the memorial is unlikely to be restored, and that the family will take it down.
“It was a beautiful memorial but we don’t want the same thing happening again. We’re going to get in touch with Islington Council and ask about getting a plaque up.”
Williams, 18, of Davenant Road, Upper Holloway, was found guilty of the City and Islington College pupil’s murder after an eight-day Old Bailey trial in September.
He and two accomplices – Shaquille Roberts, 19, and a 17-year-old boy who can’t be named – planned to steal bikes from Alan and three friends as they cycled in Caledonian Road.
Williams jumped from behind a car and stabbed Alan’s upper chest, while Roberts and the 17-year-old forced two others from their bikes.
Roberts was sentenced to 30 months’ detention in a young offenders’ institution, while the 17-year-old was handed a 28-month sentence after both pleaded guilty to robbery.