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Ben: Respect from big-hearted teenager's friends

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:17 22 July 2010

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HUNDREDS of cards, flowers and heartfelt messages now mark the spot where 16-year-old Ben Kinsella was knifed to death – but friends paying vigil are still in the dark about what led to the attack.

HUNDREDS of cards, flowers and heartfelt messages now mark the spot where 16-year-old Ben Kinsella was knifed to death - but friends paying vigil are still in the dark about what led to the attack.

In the days since Ben - the brother of former EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella - was repeatedly knifed at the corner of York Way and North Road, Holloway, the location has been turned into a makeshift shrine.

Bouquets are heaped against the wall, inscriptions have been scrawled on T-shirts, street signs and beer bottles, and hundreds of teenagers have gathered to stand vigil.

Those who have paid their respects include youngsters who were with Ben in the Shillibeers bar in North Road on the night he died. Friend Tom, 16, who had known Ben since he was 10, said: "It was just a night out. We had got there about 10pm or 11pm. A fight broke out. But he had nothing to do with it. He was just walking his bird home.

"Ben had a big heart and was the nicest person to know. It was an honour to know him."

Gio, 19, of North Road, was also in the bar - and saw a big group shouting in the smoking area. He said: "There was shouting. Then they went into the street. Then a fight broke out. All of a sudden, everyone went out. I looked to my left and there was a body lying there on the floor. His top was off. He had red hand marks on his body and a knife wound on his side."

James, 16, from Holloway School, said: "He was a good person and a straight-A student. "He liked going to bars and that, celebrating, but other than that you would never see him. He would be at home working and drawing pictures. When he wasn't studying, he would be out playing football or having a laugh. He would never be out starting trouble.I was going to meet them in Shillibeers. One of my friends said I shouldn't go because it was kicking off and that there was a fight happening. I walked up the road and saw all the cordons. Then I heard Ben had got stabbed. But I thought it couldn't be my Ben - because my Ben wouldn't be involved with anything like that."

Football friend Daniel, 16, added: "He was a good person and had nothing bad to say about anybody. He was always having a laugh and a joke. He wasn't the kind to get into fights. He was the guy to calm them down. I think Ben was on his way home and he tried to stop the fight - lots of friends have said that. Ben wouldn't hurt a fly. I have heard that he was seeing a girl and that he was going to ask her out the day after he got stabbed."

One of his best friends, a 16-year-old from Holloway School, was also paying her respects - while wearing an anti-knives T-shirt. She said: "Me, Ben and another boy were like The Three Musketeers. Now there are only two of us. There is an emptiness, just an emptiness. He must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time - he wasn't involved in fights and wasn't involved in a crew. He was the one who would deter you from joining a gang."

Family members including Ben's sister Brooke, 24, and parents Deborah and George, have also visited the scene - shedding tears and laying single red roses.

A card from Brooke reads: "Benjamin. My poor, poor angel. I am so sorry that your beautiful life was snatched away.

"I wish I'd told you everyday how much I loved you and what a fantastic little brother you are - not were, never were - are. You will always be my darling bro who was bigger than me and everyday of my life will be spent fighting for you. My darling boy. You did me proud. Come and visit us."

While a message from his parents says: "Oh Ben. What have they done son? They have taken our beautiful boy. You will always be a true angel. We love and miss you so much darling.


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