Oct 8 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A FRESH appeal has been launched for information about a stabbing in Harlesden 15 years ago that was recently linked to a fatal attack the same night elsewhere in London.
Victim Juan Marais had been walking along College Road having just left Kensal Green Train Station and was followed then stabbed in the abdomen by a man described as a tall, black and between 18 and 30.
Mr Marais, then 21, made a full recovery from the incident which took place on Friday, October 3, 1997, at 9.15pm .
But recent forensic tests on items of clothing dumped later that night have linked the attack to the fatal stabbing of Ricky Smith (pictured), 25, near Highbury in north London the same evening. The two victims were not known to each other.
BBC1’s Crimewatch programme on Thursday last week featured a reconstruction and an interview with Mr Smith’s daughter, Mikala, and since then more information has come to light.
Det Insp Colette Smyth, leading the investigation, said: “We had an excellent response following the Crimewatch appeal and we are now chasing a number of leads. However, we would still urge anyone who has information about Ricky’s murder and the linked stabbing incident to come forward and speak to us.”
A £20,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person responsible.
Ricky was stabbed just before midnight that Friday in 1997, in Highbury Park The attacker made off on foot passing Arsenal Stadium, more commonly known at the time as Highbury and Arsenal FC’s home ground.
Later, property was discovered discarded nearby, including a blue baseball cap, a jacket and a five-inch lock knife with a three-and-a-half inch blade, a single cutting edge and a wooden handle.
Police also retrieved two carrier bags from the scene. One was a green Fenwicks bag with Brent Cross written across the front and the second a black Wilkies carrier bag with a white border.
Officers know that a black man attempted to retrieve the abandoned items from the street the day after the killing. He said he would get in touch with the police, but never did.
Ms Smyth added: “I am appealing for witnesses and in particular the man who went to retrieve the items to please come forward. I want people to link Ricky’s murder in Islington and the attack on Mr Marais in Harlesden with the description of the clothing and suspect. I can’t believe that over the last 15 years someone out there does not know who carried out these attacks. .”
Call police on 020 8358 0100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.