Family’s plea for memorial to tragic knife victim Andrew Jaipaul rejected by Islington Council
PUBLISHED: 07:07 17 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:33 17 May 2012
The relatives of tragic knife victim Andrew Jaipaul have been blocked from placing any kind of memorial at the spot where he was killed.
The 21-year-old’s mother Joanna and family were hoping to install a bench in time for the first anniversary of his death next month – but Islington Council has refused to allow any permanent tribute there.
Mrs Jaipaul told the Gazette this week: “It would mean a lot to the family to have a memorial and I have not got a clue why the council is opposed to it.”
Her son’s life was cruelly snatched away in a brutal knife attack by up to 20 men on the Andover Estate on June 26 last year. No-one has yet been charged over the killing.
With Mrs Jaipaul’s blessing, family friends asked the council for permission to install a bench in the small park where the body was found, in the middle of the Holloway estate.
But a spokesman for the town hall insisted on Tuesday that it is “against council policy” to have memorials on estates.
Mrs Jaipaul, 53, of Birnam Road, added: “We’re not asking for much. Even if we can’t get the bench, just a little plaque or something small would mean a lot. I think it’s a bit selfish of the council.”
Andrew’s brother Charles Jaipaul, 25, said: “We just think it’s a bit out of order. Up the road in Cornwallis a little boy who got stabbed has a bench in his name. We don’t want a lot, just something to remember him by on the spot.”
There is a bench and a plaque in Cornwallis Park, Upper Holloway, in memory of 14-year-old Martin Dinnegan who was murdered in 2007.
The Jaipauls say they are not even asking for money for the memorial. One friend, Michelle Costello, has offered to auction a signed Arsenal shirt to raise cash. She said: “He was a well-loved person and not to be able to give him anything in his memory is disgusting.”
However, Richard Schunemann, a member of the Andover’s residents’ association, backed the council’s stance. He said: “Some people are not keen on having a reminder of such a horrendous tragedy that happened on their doorsteps. We feel a memorial could be done somewhere else.”
Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development, said he “understands the wish of his family and friends for a permanent memorial”, adding: “In general, the council supports memorial trees and benches in parks, rather than on estates and their roads. We want to make sure our approach is consistent and sensitive, and so we would like to offer to discuss the options with Andrew’s family and friends if they would like to do so.”