[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Detectives 'have blood on hands'
Floral tributes
People have been laying flowers outside the Woodhams's home
Friends of a young father shot dead after a confrontation with a gang of youths have accused the police of having blood on their hands.

Peter Woodhams, a 22-year-old father of one, died outside his home in Canning Town, east London, on Monday.

Mr Woodhams was also stabbed in the neck in an attack in January - some believe by the same gang.

Friends of Mr Woodham insist he would still be alive today if detectives had properly investigated January's attack.

"The police have blood on their hands because the first time they let him down and it's too late now," said close family friend Carly Frances.

Nothing is going to bring him back
Family friend Carly Frances

"They've publicly apologised but what good is that now? Nothing is going to bring him back."

In January, Mr Woodhams confronted a gang of youths who began throwing stones at his car.

He was stabbed in the neck and slashed across the face with a knife.

According to Ms Frances, he narrowly missed death as the blade was just 2mm from his jugular vein.

His fiancée Jane Bowden said she called police every day for five weeks after the attack, but was unable to make a statement.

She said several people anonymously provided the police with the names of suspects after some were heard boasting about the attack.

"They had all the information they needed but the police didn't want to know," said Ms Frances.

"They didn't make a statement, they didn't even take away his clothes for forensics."

Mr Woodhams's boss Jason Hendry also believes police failed to do their job after the first attack.

"They didn't take him seriously... they were ringing the police every day and nothing has happened at all," he told the BBC.

Fear factor

"What sort of justice is that?"

It is believed that a 20-strong gang are well known in the area and have been terrorising the local community for some time.

Shopkeepers and residents have also been targets of the gang, leaving many people too scared to confront them, said Ms Frances.

She added: "He was facing these people on his own and I think he was a hero for doing that."

Police have since apologised for their investigation into January's incident and have promised to "robustly deal" with any failings.

The Metropolitan Police Authority has also asked for a detailed report into all aspects of this case.

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, is to investigate the response to the stabbing in January.

Newham's borough commander Michael Johnson was asked whether Mr Woodhams would still be alive, if police had done things differently.

He said: "Peter's fiancee and his family raised a number of issues with me...The reasons why they took place and what happened are obviously going to be subject [to] a very very in depth inquiry.

"Once we've got the facts, once I'm able to go through those I will go through them with the family and we will ensure that any action that's necessary, the appropriate action is taken"

Police sorry for inquiry 'hurt'
24 Aug 06 |  London

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific