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MURDER - 'The whole of the community mourns'

THE family of Ross Parker, the 17-year-old who was stabbed to death as he walked to a friend´s home, have been comforted by leaders from the city´s Asian community.

THE family of Ross Parker, the 17-year-old who was stabbed to death as he walked to a friends home, have been comforted by leaders from the citys Asian community.THE family of Ross Parker, the 17-year-old who was stabbed to death as he walked to a friends home, have been comforted by leaders from the citys Asian community.

Rosss parents, Davinia (43) and Tony (49), and sister Leanne (22), came together with the religious leaders during an emotional hour-long meeting organised by police.

The family, who live in Bozeat Way, Westwood, Peterborough, met with 11 community leaders headed by Ghulam Shabbir, chairman of the Peterborough Pakistan Community Association.

Today, Mr Shabbir said: "The meeting gave us an opportunity to pay our condolences to the Parker family directly and express our grief.

"People said that there was no way we could have the depth of feeling that the family have had but, nevertheless, we feel that the whole of the community is mourning for Ross because he was such a nice lad.

"Some of the elders were almost tearful when they were talking.

"Mrs Parker was very traumatised and was supported by her husband and daughter. And Mr and Mrs Parker expressed their appreciation for the help from the community."

Detective Superintendent David Hankins, who is leading the inquiry into Rosss death and organised the meeting, said: "The Asian community has been very good and very helpful."

Ross died after he was set upon by a gang on September 21, close to Bourges Boulevard, in the city.

A 1,000 reward put up by Asian businesses to catch Rosss killers has been increased by 500 by an unnamed Asian businessman.

Today, four city men who have been charged with the murder of Ross were due to appear in court.

Sarfraz Ali (24), of Harris Street, Ahmed Ali Awan (21), of Gladstone Street, Shaied Nazir (20), of Cromwell Road, and Ziaraff Mahrad (20), of Cromwell Road, were due before Northampton Crown Court.

Meanwhile, the city council has sent youth workers on to the streets to calm youngsters following the tragedy.

Anthea Cox, city councillor for the Ravensthorpe ward, said youngsters in the area had felt their "world collapse" since the youngster was killed.

She said: "There is a lot of concern in the area because some of the youngsters who knew Ross just didnt know what to do when he died. We hope having youth workers talking to them will prevent any tension."

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