Police have launched a fresh appeal for information over the murder of Isschan Nicholls after the arrest of a 21-year old man who is being held in custody at an east London police station.
They have also announced a reward of £20,000 to anyone leading to the identification of the killer.
Nicholls, who was 18 at the time, and a 17-year-old teenager, were brutally attacked by 15 youths with baseball bats and pieces of wood on January 13 2010 on Parnell Road, Tower Hamlets.
They were in a car with two other friends when they came under a sustained attack which smashed the windows of the car and dented the bodywork.
While the 17-year-old survived, Nicholls died two days later following serious injuries to his abdomen and thighs. Police believe he was stabbed with a knife.
Deputy Chief Inspector Charles King “firmly” believed the attack was by a large group of people local to the area.
He said: “I am convinced many people in the local community and also on the Isle of Dogs hold vital information in this case”.
I would like to hear from those who called with important information shortly after the incident to get in touch with the incident room again – your identity will be kept confidential. I would also like to hear from anyone else who has yet to come forward who could provide us with the information we need”.
In an emotional statement, Isschan’s mother said: “It has been two years since our son Isschan was murdered. Two birthdays that he never celebrated, two Christmases that he never spent with his family. Knowing that his murderers are still at large has made these occasions even more difficult to bear.
“There isn’t a minute, hour or day that we don’t think of Isschan. His room is how he left it, his clothes in the wardrobe, his T-shirts still in his drawers. We still feel that he will walk through the door and go in his room. There are days when we can’t believe that this has happened to Isschan. When eventually our mind does bring us back to reality it’s like being hit by a bus – from then on we know it’s going to be a bad day because we can’t accept this reality.”
She added: “After experiencing the outcome of Steven Lawrence’s case, we are hopeful that justice will come with the assistance of a community, no matter how many years it takes.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8721 4054 or they can contact Crimstoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.