Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 12:49 UK

Public freed gay attack suspect

CCTV image of two women
Police want to identify two women seen in the Trafalgar Square area

A teenage girl suspected of being involved in a fatal attack on a gay man escaped when a passer-by mistakenly released her.

Ian Baynham, 62, was punched and kicked to the ground close to Trafalgar Square in central London on 25 September.

He suffered head injuries and died in hospital on Tuesday.

The victim's friend, a 30-year-old man, grabbed the teenage girl but members of the public, who wrongly thought she was being assaulted, released her.

Police have launched a murder inquiry and continue to hunt for three young people, one male and two females, all aged between 16 and 20.

'Tragic consequences'

They have appealed for information about two blonde women who were filmed by CCTV cameras in the area at the time.

Ian Baynham
Ian Baynham had travelled to London for a night out

The male was described as dark-skinned, about 5ft 8in tall (1.72m), with black hair.

The three suspects were sitting in the area close to the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square earlier that evening before the assault at about 2245 BST.

Investigators said the male was seen giving one girl a piggyback ride and the three are suspected of shouting verbal abuse at other people as well.

Officers said Mr Baynhham and his friend were initially verbally abused by a woman as they got off a bus near Duncannon Street.

He went to remonstrate with her but she and her two friends attacked him.

Det Ch Insp Clive Heys, who is leading the inquiry, said: "Mr Baynham was a 62-year-old man who was simply travelling to enjoy a night out with a friend when he was attacked with such tragic consequences."

"Trafalgar Square would have been busy with people at this time on a Friday night. A number of witnesses have already come forward,"

"However, we would urge anyone who may have information, no matter how insubstantial they think it is, to come forward - it could be the missing piece of the puzzle," he added.



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