Three in court on Ross murder charge

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THREE city men appeared in court today charged with the murder of 17-year-old Ross Parker.

THREE city men appeared in court today charged with the murder of 17-year-old Ross Parker.THREE city men appeared in court today charged with the murder of 17-year-old Ross Parker.

Sarfraz Ali (24), of Harris Street, Ahmed Ali Awan (21), of Gladstone Street, and Shaied Nazir (20), of Cromwell Road, appeared before Peterborough Magistrates Court.

The case was adjourned to Northampton Crown Court until Tuesday. They did not enter a plea, and there was no application for bail.

Ross was stabbed to death as he walked home in the early hours of Friday morning, after working at the Solstice pub in the city centre.

As he walked along a cyclepath with a 19-year-old female workmate next to Bourges Boulevard, near Russell Street, he was attacked by a gang of youths.

The 19-year-old girl ran for help to the nearby dual carriageway, where she flagged down a police car.

But when she and the police officer returned, Ross had died and the gang had fled.

Today, Rosss parents, Tony (49) and Davinia (43), and sister Leanne (22), of Bozeat Way in Westwood, Peterborough, said, in a joint statement: "Words cannot express how much we miss Ross, and how different our life will be without him.

"But we do take comfort in the fact that a number of people have been charged with his murder.

"The (police) family liaison officers have been keeping us regularly updated with the investigation and have told us how helpful members of the Asian community, in particular the community leaders, have been.

"For this, we are extremely grateful.

"We just hope that Peterborough now becomes a more settled place to live in, and the minor disorder that has been taking place ceases."

Nine other people who were arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on bail, and ordered to return to Thorpe Wood police station at dates in the future while enquires continue.

A 17-year-old and an 18-year-old have been released with no further action being taken.

Ghulam Shabbir, chairman of the Pakistan Community Association, said: "While the incident can never be forgotten, the time has come for the whole community to pull together and move forward."

Residents asked to check gardens for clues

THE detective leading the inquiry into the death of Ross Parker today appealed for city people to check their gardens for clues.

When the investigation began, a team of 70 officers from across the county was drafted in to carry out searches, house-to-house enquiries, interviews and check CCTV footage.

Detective Superintendent David Hankins appealed for city people to check their gardens and areas near their homes for possible clues.

He said: "The inquiry isnt finished. We have carried out a thorough search of gardens in the area, but it is impossible for us to search all the ones in Peterborough, so if people find something, such as clothing, they should contact us."

Rosss parents, Davinia and Tony, and sister Leanne, have been assigned two police family liaison officers to offer them support, and keep them informed of progress in the police investigation.

Det Supt Hankins said: "I have been to see the family.

"They are shocked, and in disbelief, as any mother or father in their situation would be. How do you come to terms with something like this, having a son one minute and having him taken away for no good reason the next?"

He echoed the familys calls for an end to the racial disorder in the city: "We can understand people are emotionally charged as a result of this awful, wicked crime, but it doesnt help Ross, his family, or his friends for people to take the law into their own hands."