JJ McPhillips: Cops announce £20,000 reward for information leading to Canonbury dad’s killers

Jonathon 'JJ' McPhillips. Picture: Michelle McPhillips

Jonathon 'JJ' McPhillips. Picture: Michelle McPhillips - Credit: Archant

Detectives investigating the unsolved murder of Canonbury dad JJ McPhillips last year have offered £20,000 for anyone who can help catch the killers.

JJ, full name Jonathon, was stabbed to death outside Islington Town Hall in February 2017 – and his mother, Michelle, has been campaigning for justice ever since.

Michael Dyra, 21, of Hoxton, faced no further action after his trial collapsed earlier this year. The 22-year-old had been charged with his JJ’s murder in February.

Now Michelle hopes the reward will bring results. She told the Gazette: “I feel that putting this reward out for JJ means the police haven’t forgotten.

“It sends a message to the people who did the murder – we are not going to go away until justice is done.

“I hope this reward helps – even if you just have a millimetre of evidence – please come forward and tell us so we can continue putting this case together.”

In a direct plea to the public, Michelle, who manages the Green Man pub in Essex Road, added: “How would you feel if this was your child, or brother, or sister?

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“People may be fed up with this story but I have to keep going until his killers are in prison – I don’t want revenge, I just want justice.”

JJ was stabbed through his chest and died three days later in hospital, aged 28. He left behind two daughters, who are now aged three and five.

The mother of his two children, Kennedy, said: “Try as we might to protect them from what has happened, their lives will be poorer without the love and devotion of their Dad as they grow up.

“Right now they are still only young and unaware of what happened. One day though they will find out and have to come to terms with how their father was taken from them.

“That is a day I dread in which all the pain that has been felt so far will be relived again – the only thing that will give us peace and make that day easier to acknowledge is there being some sort of justice for Jonathon.”

Cops have also arrested eight other people as part of the investigation – but they’ve all since been released without further action.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellams, who is leading the case, said: “I encourage anyone who holds that key fragment of information we need to come forward.

“As Michelle has said, we have no doubt that someone in the community knows something. And I can understand why, if you are not a person who would talk to police, that you may feel reluctant to come forward.

“Perhaps you have preconceptions about how you think you will be treated by police, or perhaps you are worried about reprisals. You can be assured that you do not have to worry; any interaction with us will be carried out in the utmost sensitivity and discretion.”

The Met police released CCTV footage from the night JJ was attacked last year, which shows a group of six men, some brandishing large knives, pursuing him.

The footage also shows JJ colliding with an innocent bystander, who has never come forward. But cops believe his evidence “could prove vital.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.