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TRIBUTE ON HOLD: Memorial bench for Watford stabbing victim controversially denied by council

 Published on: 30th September 2020   |   By: Geraint Roberts   |   Category: Uncategorized

Watford Borough Council have decided against installing a memorial bench plaque for the late Luke O’Connell with fears it could raise community tensions.

Luke died in hospital last year after being stabbed on August 31, 2019 at Gammons Lane in Watford.

A trial was set to take place in March at Harrow Crown Court, but the judge having to self-isolate meant it was discharged.

More than £2,000 was raised on a GoFundMe page to have a bench plaque put in Callowland Park, but the council have decided to deny the application after discussions with Hertfordshire Police.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “First of all, I would like to express my sincere sympathy for Luke O’Connell’s family and friends. Our decision not to install a memorial bench at this time has not been taken lightly at all.

“We are very concerned about raising community tensions, and the effect on Luke’s family – particularly given that the trial of those charged in connection with his murder is yet to take place.

“After extensive discussions with Hertfordshire Police, it was agreed that we would first let the judicial process take its course before reviewing the situation again post-trial.”

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