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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 17:09 GMT 18:09 UK
Key witness sought in gay murder
Jody Dobrowski
Jody Dobrowski had been visiting a friend before he was killed
Detectives have appealed for a man who may have seen a homophobic murder to contact them again.

The witness called police on Sunday following the beating to death of Jody Dobrowski, 24, on Clapham Common, south London, at midnight on Saturday.

Police have said they wanted to speak to 10 or 12 people they believe were on the common at the time.

Mr Dobrowski's family has laid flowers at the scene, saying a "beautiful and fine young man has been taken from us".

Police say bar manager Mr Dobrowski was the victim of a sustained and violent assault and appealed to the gay community to help catch the killer.

Ch Supt Joe Royle, who stressed all calls would be treated in strict confidence, said: "We have had lots of good information from the public so far but perhaps the most interesting one is somebody in the Surrey area who called at 5.15pm last evening with some very good information.

SUSPECTS' DESCRIPTIONS
Suspect 1: White, aged between 20 and 30, 6ft tall, with shaved hair, spoke with a London accent
Suspect 2: White, aged between 20 and 30, shorter and stockier than suspect one

"I would strongly urge that person to get back to us."

Police also want to trace Mr Dobrowski's movements between 2215 BST, when he left a friend's house near the common, and just after midnight when the police found him.

A post-mortem examination showed the cause of death was severe head, neck and facial injuries.

The beating is the latest in a number of homophobic attacks in the area.

Incidents investigated

The latest crime figures show there were 140 homophobic attacks in Lambeth last year, 30 of which took place in August.

Earlier this month, another man was assaulted on the common by three men.

And on 13 September, two men attempted to strangle a gay man after one posed as being interested in having sex with the victim.

From left, Jody's brother Jake, mother Sheri and her partner Mike Haddock, lay flowers at Clapham Common
The family of Mr Dobrowski lay flowers at the scene of the murder

Mr Royle said: "It's too early at this stage to say whether they are linked or not but we are making inquiries into all incidents."

Friends and family gathered on the common on Monday afternoon to lay flowers and tributes.

Mr Dobrowski's brother Jake read a statement, which said: "A beautiful and fine young man has been taken from us and the people who did this will never understand the horror they have inflicted on his family and hundreds of friends.

"We need to ensure that as a civilised society we make sure this doesn't happen again."

Peter Tatchell, spokesman for gay rights group OutRage, said: "It is unlikely to be their [the attackers] first queer-bashing attack and unless they are caught it may not be their last.

"These killers could kill again."


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