Brother of Nashon Esbrand: ‘My family is in turmoil...it’s heartbreaking he was killed like this’
PUBLISHED: 12:20 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:23 27 September 2017
The “heartbroken” brother of Nashon Esbrand has pledged to continue the fight against knife crime.
In a first family interview since 27-year-old Mr Esbrand was stabbed to death in Mitchison Road, Canonbury, Mark Barton paid tribute to his “humble” younger brother and said: “We have to try and take something out of this.”
Mr Barton, 46, told the Gazette: “Nashon didn’t like tension. He didn’t like conflict. It’s heartbreaking to know he was killed like this when he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“I had talked to him only a few hours before. It was shocking to see him on the table in hospital. Anger. Frustration. It’s a waste of a life. And for what?”
Former Central Foundation pupil Mr Esbrand, of Upper Holloway, collapsed 50 yards from his mum’s house on August 24. He died early the next day. Two teenagers have been charged with his murder.
“My mum is in turmoil,” Mr Barton added. “Nashon loved her. He went to her house every day for dinner, even though he had his own place. He’d take her shopping every Thursday. It wasn’t just mother and son, they were like best friends.”
Mr Barton has been a community worker, specialising in gangs and youth offending, for 23 years. He said: “This hit straight home. I feel like I’m still dreaming. There are a lot of families going through this sort of thing and I’m going to make sure we as a family continue the fight against knife crime.”
He recalled Mr Esbrand, a former Anna Scher Theatre student, having a part in 2004 movie “The Calcium Kid” and laughed: “My brother always wanted to be like me, wearing my clothes. He was always about looking good, a bit of a playboy.
“He was so respectful. He would never be rude. He’d never call me Mark, it would always be ‘brother’. I never once had an argument with him. Even when I was telling him off, he would be so humble. There would always be football banter, him being a Manchester United fan and me Liverpool.”
Mr Esbrand had become a father days before his death. “He was so overwhelmed, happy and excited,” Mr Barton said. “He wanted to be a positive for his daughter.”
Mr Barton thanked Mr Esbrand’s friend Ange Doua (“we are so grateful for her quick response”) after she organised a memorial football match on Sunday to help pay for his funeral on October 13. The match takes place on the Market Road pitches at 2pm. For more information, call 07722 158862.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.