Joseph Burke-Monerville funeral: Young prince from Canonbury laid to rest after being shot in Clapton
PUBLISHED: 17:34 03 May 2013 | UPDATED: 21:19 03 May 2013
An emotional farewell to a young prince shot dead in front of his twin brother took place today.
Hundreds of family and friends gathered to pay their last respects to Canonbury teen Joseph Burke-Monerville who was gunned down in a car in Clapton in February.
Members of his extended royal family in Nigeria were there, and his relatives and teachers fought back tears as they paid tribute to a “loving, caring and beautiful son”.
Speaking after the service at the United Church of the Kingdom of God, in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, his sister said: “It was lovely, really peaceful. Joseph was such a lovely guy.”
Mr Burke-Monerville, 19, moved to Nigeria when he was 13 and his aunt Alache Ode told the congregation how desperate he and his twin were to return to the city which eventually claimed his life.
She said: “They did not want to stay in Nigeria at all. They would deliberately fail school admission exams to get sent back. So their mother sent them to military school. After two weeks, they told people they were not Nigerian, so they got rejected.”
She added: “How can it be his aunt here at his funeral. It should be the other way round. But god knows best.”
Mr Burke-Monerville’s mother Linda shed tears as she read a passage from the bible, while his sister Sarah wept openly during her reading.
Gus John, who has been acting as the families representative, called for the people to come together to stamp out violent crime in a thunderous address.
“Joseph was an innocent victim of gratuitous violence,” said professor John. “There is a statement I abhor which gets said in these circumstances ‘he was in the wrong place at the wrong time’.
“There never is a wrong place and time if you are going about your lawful business. But to suggest this is to say that violent gunmen and murderers on our streets are in the right place at the right time. This is nonsense.”
He added: “Parents are burying children, children burying each other.”
Professor John called for an end to post code fighting and asked communities to stop shielding killers.
Speaking after the service Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, who attended the funeral, said: “Professor John’s words should be carved in stone.”
- Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder following Mr Burke-Monerville’s death. An 18, 19 and 25-year-old were all arrested yesterday and bailed to return in early June pending further inquiries.
Police continue to appeal for information on two suspects seen running from the scene after Mr Burke-Monerville was shot. The first is black, and the second is light-skinned – possibly of Asian or Turkish appearance. They were seen making off on foot from Hindrey Road after the shooting, heading towards the nearby Pembury Estate.