Popular teenager Ross Parker, who was brutally murdered in a racist attack in central Peterborough, has been remembered on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Ross Parker (17) was killed while walking along a cycle path off Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough, with his girlfriend at 1.15am in the morning on September 21, 2001.
His murderers were Ahmed Ali Awan (32), Shaied Nazir (22) and Sarfaz Ali (35), who were all found guilty following a trial and are now in prison.
The five foot five inches tall teenager was set upon in a totally unprovoked attack, sprayed with CS gas and hit with a hammer, before being stabbed in the chest and neck.
Despite the brutal end to his life, positive memories of a boy affectionately nick-named “Half Pint” live on through friends, family and others who have learned about him after his death.
His sister Leanne said: “We have had lots of messages of support and that is a lot of comfort.
“I was looking at his Facebook memorial page this morning and it is amazing how many people are messaging about him.
“Some were his friends but some were people who had never met him. That brought a few tears to know he touched their lives too.
“My parents go to the crematorium every Sunday and there are still new letters and flowers there all the time from people.
“That does help on days like this because we realise his memory does live on and it’s also not just us who lost Ross and the world moves on as normal.”
As much as the memory of the happy teen has not diminished over the years, nor has the family’s anger towards the men who killed him.
After being found guilty, Awan was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison and Nazie and Ali were jailed for at least 16 years.
Leanne added: “It is very strange how fast the 10 years have gone and it makes it even worse that they could be out and free in a few years. That’s not right.”
Ross’ mum, Davina said: “They got off far too light and it is disgusting they will be out soon. They should have been hung. I said that at the time and I will say that until the day I die.”
His dad Tony added: “It is just difficult getting on with your life. The 10 years have flown by and it’s still hard to believe he has gone.”
Leanne added: “He will always be with us but it’s very hard.
“He is missed so much, especially at things like my wedding to my husband Steve in Yaxley Parish Church two years ago.”
Leanne and Steve, who live in London, came to Peterborough yesterday to mark the anniversary.
They went to Peterborough Crematorium in Marholm with Ross’ parents to add flowers to bouquets left at his memorial.
The family along with his best friend Nick Carter went to the Fitzwilliam Arms and while there they continued the tradition of toasting Ross’ life with a Goldschläger - his favourite drink.
Others toasted his memory at a memorial event in The Solstice, in Northminster, Peterborough, where Ross used to work.
Racist murder in aftermath of 9/11
ROSS Parker was killed in a racially motivated attack by Muslim youths 10 days after the 9/11 attack on New York.
At the time the youths were sentenced by the court, Justice Sir Edwin Jowitt QC said: “You attacked an innocent man you might find by chance simply because he was of a different race to yourself.
“A racist killing must be one of the gravest kinds of killing.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dick Harrison said he always believed it was a racist attack but the killers never admitted that motive.
He praised the city’s Muslim community for helping to catch the killers.