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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tribute of The Voice star Jaz Ellington may bring my son’s killers to justice

Evening Standard

Mark Blunden

17 April 2012

A mother whose murdered son was the inspiration for The Voice favourite Jaz Ellington today said she hoped the renewed interest would help bring the killers to justice.

Fabian Ricketts, 18, an aspiring film director, was shot in the heart six years ago today after inadvertently becoming involved in a gang dispute.

On Saturday, Ellington gave an emotionally-charged performance on the BBC show, which he revealed was inspired by the death of his close friend. Nearly 12 million viewers saw the 27-year-old win the last place in the competition.

Today Fabian’s mother Yvonne called on people with information about her son’s death to come forward.

She said: “When I heard Jaz on The Voice I was shocked. I hope the publicity will tweak people’s consciences. In 2006, they were perhaps young and scared but they are older and wiser now. Their silence means I can’t lay my son to rest completely.”

Fabian, who worked at Woolworths and lived in Mitcham, was killed on Easter Monday 2006 after driving three friends to a barbecue at the Battersea Bar in Wandsworth.

During the Old Bailey trial the following year, a witness said he had inadvertently sparked a fight by gesturing to a boy he thought he recognised.

But some of the crowd up to 20-strong mistook the witness’s signal for a gun gesture, when Fabian tried to calm the situation. The row then escalated into an attack involving a knife, pistol and sawn-off shotgun.

Three men went on trial for the killing but the case collapsed after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence. Today, Ms Ricketts and Fabian’s elder brother, Leon, 30, were going to lay flowers at the spot where he died.

She said the family felt “abandoned” by the police, adding: “Fabian had never been arrested and was not in a gang. I feel the police have not handled the investigation properly.”

Ellington reduced two of the show’s judges to tears as he sang a version of Ed Sheeran’s A Team, followed by John Legend’s Ordinary People.

The singer said: “When Fabian went that was a painful moment for me. I’ve gone through a lot of heartache and I’ve written about it. The only way I could express that was in a song called Perfect Picture, which I sang at his funeral.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 020 8247 4553, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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