Murdered teenager Robert Knox (right) with his mother Sally and younger brother Jamie
Harry Potter actor stabbed to death in mobile phone vendetta
A teenage actor who is to appear in the new Harry Potter film was stabbed to death in the early hours of yesterday during a fight at a bar.
Robert Knox, 18, was murdered outside the Metro bar in Sidcup, southeast London, as he tried to protect his brother Jamie, 17, from a knifeman.
The attack, which left three other people with serious stab wounds, took place just a few miles from where Jimmy Mizen, a 16-year-old altar boy, was murdered two weeks ago while trying to shield his older brother.
Yesterday it emerged that Knox and Jimmy had played for the same rugby club in Sidcup.
Last night, Robert’s parents, Sally, a buyer for Marks & Spencer, and Colin, who is thought to work in advertising, paid tribute to their son in a statement.
“Rob was kind and thoughtful and would always help out others; he would always spend his last penny on other people instead of himself,” they said.
The life and soul of the party, he was very outgoing, loved sports and would always strike up a conversation with people. He was respectful to others and adored by his family and friends.”
Knox, who overcame bullying as a child to break into acting, had just finished filming a small part for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is due at cinemas in November. He plays a Ravenclaw student called Marcus Belby.
Knox was a former pupil at Beths grammar school in Bexley, whose alumni include Steve Backley, the former Olympic javelin thrower. He is the 14th teenager to be violently killed in London since the start of the year.
Police said the killing was not gang-related and yesterday, as friends laid flowers at the murder scene, close to Sidcup railway station, Lee Bentley, manager of the Metro bar, said the attack appeared to have been triggered by a row over the alleged theft of a mobile phone.
“Nine days ago, a guy came to the bar and caused trouble,” said Bentley. “He accused [Knox’s friend] Dean Saunders of stealing his phone and hit him in the face. We cleaned up Dean and barred the man.”
But the man, who is black and in his twenties, returned on Friday night armed with two knives and tried entering the bar, where Knox was a regular drinker.
What happened next is unclear, but Jade Nicholson, an assistant bar manager, said: “I saw Rob go outside and shout, ‘You pulled a knife on my brother, someone call the police’.”
Tom Hopkins, 18, who was drinking at the bar, said: “Rob had been trying to stop the trouble, it wasn’t his fault.
“All I remember was seeing Rob get stabbed in the chest. I ran over and me and my mate Tarik both tackled the black man. I jumped on top of him and he said, ‘I’ve got a knife, I’ve got a knife’. As I tried to grab the knife I didn’t realise he had another one in his other hand and he cut me in the back of the head.
“I was wrestling with him in the bushes and there were a lot of other people who were helping me out. It felt like it went on for six or seven minutes until the police arrived and then I walked around the corner from the bar. That’s when I saw Rob — it’s too horrible to describe what I saw. It was just red blood.”
Police said they were called to “a large disturbance” at the bar on Station Road at 12.07am, but Knox’s life was already seeping away. A friend, who asked not be named, said: “I had him in my arms. He said, ‘I just want some help’ and I laid him on the floor. When the paramedics came, they put pads on his chest to try to revive him, but it was obvious it was too late.”
Knox was taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich, southeast London, where he was pronounced dead just before 1am. A post-mortem is due to be carried out today.
Three other people were seriously injured in the attack, including Saunders, 21, who was stabbed in the neck and remains in hospital. Police said his injuries were serious but not life-threatening. Two other friends, aged 16 and 19, also received treatment.
A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
I was watching F1 with my dad and he switched to CNN while waiting for the commercial and one of the headlines was, 'Harry Potter teen actor stabbed to death' and I was shocked like I was thinking it was Dan or someone else. I went to the computer and found out it's just a supporting actor. I'm still curious why they went for Harry Potter actor. May he rest in piece though...
Saw it a couple hours ago on CNN.
I thought, because of the brother-story, it was either James or Oliver Phelps.
But coming to know that it wasn't, didn't really make me feel better. It's so horrible that this took place .
I can hardly imagine how the people who've been there, seen it, must be feeling now. And his mother and brother.. How they must be suffering right at this time. God bless them. I hope they'll be able to give this a place.
I guess it will be strange when the movie comes out now.. A lot of people will forget before that time, but I'm sure it will be hard for his family.
i cant believe things like this happens.
this boy was just having night out with friends and some stupid a**hole come and kills him, while he tries to protect his brother.
this makes me soooo mad...i cant even find words to describe...
i will definetly remember him while watching next HP
Last edited by Jenna-maria; 25-05-2008 at 02:25 PM.
Robert Knox, 18, who acted alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, became the 28th teenager killed in Britain this year, and the 10th in London to die from stab wounds.
Relatives said his role as Marcus Belby in the film, due for release in November, was set to launch his career as an actor.
Mr Knox was a member of the same rugby club as Jimmy Mizen, the 16-year-old "gentle giant" fatally stabbed in nearby Lee, south-east London, two weeks ago
In a statement, Rob's parents, Sally and Colin Knox, said: "Rob was kind and thoughtful and would always help out others – he would always spend his last penny on other people instead of himself. The life and soul of the party, he was very outgoing, loved sports, and would always strike up a conversation with people.
"He was respectful to others and adored by all his family and friends. He was an asset to the family."
The murder will reignite a debate about youth crime, knives, and whether the criminal justice system is working. Figures obtained by The Telegraph show that out of more than 60,000 people prosecuted for possessing knives since 1997, only nine have been given the maximum jail term.
The Home Office and Boris Johnson, the new Mayor of London, have introduced measures including police stop-and-search and knife scanners at schools, pubs and clubs, in an attempt to curb their use. Yet the Children's Commissioner for England claimed yesterday that such measures could fuel resentment.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green called the increased police powers "contentious" and told the BBC: "There is a balance here. On the one hand for young people to feel safer by having the presence of the police – but on the other hand making sure the new powers don't create further antagonism by increased stopping and searching."
Mr Knox, a grammar school boy, is understood to have been fatally stabbed after trying to save his 16-year-old brother, Jamie, from a man armed with two knives.
The man began attacking drinkers outside the Metro bar, next to Sidcup railway station, south-east London. Witnesses said that the attacker had earlier been thrown out by bouncers, but returned in the early hours with several friends.
Tarik Ozresberoglu, 17, a trainee steel worker, described how he tried to stem the flow of blood from Mr Knox's wounds then rugby-tackled the attacker into submission.
He said that he was chatting to Rob when the attacker appeared. "He pulled out two wooden kitchen knives at least 6in long from his waistband, and said 'Who's going to make my day then?'
"Girls were screaming. Jamie, Rob's brother, came over and said 'a boy has pulled a knife on me'. I held Rob back, but he pushed me out of the way and said 'he's threatened my little brother'.
"Rob was angry, but he's never started any trouble in his life. I think he just wanted to protect his younger brother. Rob went up to the bloke, who stabbed him four times.
"Rob stumbled back, lifted up his top and we saw the blood seeping from his wounds.
"I took my jumper off and tried to wrap it round Rob's wounds. Then as I was trying to do that, I saw the guy was still stabbing people. I told my friend Charlie Grimley, who had also been stabbed, to look after Rob. Then I ran over to the bloke and rugby-tackled him into a bush."
Struggling to control his emotions, Mr Ozresberoglu added: "I might have felt a hero if Rob was still here, but what I did is never going to bring Rob back. I might have saved more people from being stabbed but Rob still isn't here."
He said he thought Mrs Knox was allowed to hold her son in her arms as he lay dying on the pavement. "She was just crying and crying, sobbing 'why my Rob?'."
A number of drinkers were hurt, including Dean Saunders, 21, Nick Jones, 19, Mr Grimley, 17, and 16-year-old Andrew Dormer. Russell Wood, 21, said that he saw Mr Saunders stabbed in the neck three times .
Mr Wood said: "This guy started accusing everybody of nicking his mobile phone. He made me turn out my pockets. The bouncers chucked him out. But the next thing we knew this chap was outside with about five of his mates. Everybody just tried to get the knife off him and in the process, it seemed, too many people got stabbed."
Mr Grimley described how Mr Knox went to his rescue after the attacker "pulled out two knives and said 'Who wants this?'"
"Rob was just trying to look out for his mate," said Mr Grimley. "My stab wound had fractured my cheek bone. Rob saw me get stabbed, tried to get the knife off the bloke and was stabbed himself."
Mr Knox's father, Colin, was for many years the junior chairman of Sidcup Rugby Club, where Danny Mizen, Jimmy's brother, was a captain. Danny Mizen said last night: "My thoughts are with his family."
Kevin May, 42, Mr Knox's uncle, said: "Where's it all going to end? When is this violence and the carrying of knives by young people going to stop? Something's got to be done. Two stabbings in two weeks is too much."
A spokesman for Warner Brothers, the makers of the Harry Potter films, said: "We are deeply shocked by the news and our thoughts and sympathy are with the family."
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "A man aged 21 has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He is being held in custody. We do not believe the incident is gang-related."
The new figures on sentencing for knife crime, released by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, were seized on as evidence that courts are failing to heed ministers' repeated demands for a crackdown on those who carry knives.
The Tories called the statistics "shocking" and accused ministers of "failing to get a grip" on a big increase in knife crime since Labour came to power.
The maximum sentence for carrying a knife in a public place is two years in jail, rising to four years if the offence was committed in a school. In 1997, 4,466 people were convicted of "having an article with a blade or point in a public place", a figure that rose to 7,654 by 2006. There were 60,366 prosecutions over the 10-year period, of which 47,338 resulted in a conviction.
Over the same period, 495 people were prosecuted for having a knife in a school. Of these, 479 were found guilty, yet only nine people were given the maximum possible sentence, Mr Straw admitted. James Brokenshire, the shadow home affairs minister, called the findings "disturbing". Knife crime facts
14 teenagers have been stabbed to death in Britain this year
A third of murders are committed with knives
Four per cent of young people aged 10 to 25 admitted in a Home Office survey to having carried a knife in the previous 12 months
550 metal-detecting wands and 244 metal-scanning arches have been deployed by the Metropolitan Police across inner London boroughs as part of its stop-and-search operation
934 knives, guns and other lethal weapons were seized from children in schools between 2005 and 2007
One in three young people living in inner cities thinks it is acceptable to carry a knife in self-defence, a survey found
yeah there is a big knife problem here. I don't think it's actually fair to compare this death with the others though since it's not gang related and more of a one-off. 4% of kids carrying a knife doesn't seem like that much to me, or maybe I just thought it would be higher considering it's such a major form of assault. Still a tragedy.
seriously, what is this world coming too?
i cannot emphasize enough that education is key!!!!!!!!!!!
these poor kids who go around carrying knives or simply with the idea to kill someone are often those who just hang around the streets all day and dont know any better.... it is very sad but as angry as it makes me and as much as i would like to blame the actual people doing these horrid acts, i cant help but blame the parents who are responsible for educating their children wisely and bring them up into this world as respectful individuals.... no matter what social status!
before moving to london, uk, deaths resulting in stupid gang fights was rather rare from where i came from. im shocked the amount of teen deaths in uk is so high. it seems like every other week there is one teenager in uk that got killed because of whatever stupid little reason.
I don't know ... in Glasgow it has kind of always been this way, my father would tell you that when he was a boy they'd be fighting in the streets with boys who came from another street, and only because they came from another street. He talks about these 'pitch battles' affectionately, fighting with knifes steel poles anything and everything in the 50's you know so ... . Moving on though, my point is that it's been happening in Glasgow for ... well forever, and it seems that only now is it a problem because god forbid the problem has sunk below the watford gap. I mean is something going to be done about this now?