'Spontaneous fight' between strangers led to Harry Pitman's New Year's Eve stabbing, police say as they hunt two boys

4 January 2024, 15:59 | Updated: 4 January 2024, 16:28

Police released these two images over Harry Pitman's killing
Police released these two images over Harry Pitman's killing. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Will Taylor

Two images have been released by police who want to identify the boys over the killing of Harry Pitman.

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Murder cops are "keen to identify and speak" with the pair.

Harry, 16, was stabbed to death minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve at Primrose Hill in London.

Police are now saying the violence appears to be spontaneous, and there was no racial or gang element to the violence.

Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Grogan, who leads the investigation, said: "We are working at pace to identify and speak to everyone in the immediate vicinity of the murder, and to that end, I have issued two images and am asking anyone who can name the people pictured to get in touch.

"Similarly, if you see yourself pictured, please contact us without delay. It may be that you have information that could help us, or that we can eliminate you from our enquiries.

"Harry's family is devastated. He was a vibrant young man who should have had his life ahead of him. We continue to support them as they struggle to come to terms with their loss."

Read more: Boy, 15, arrested on suspicion of murdering teenager Harry Pitman in New Year's Eve stabbing at London's Primrose Hill

The Met wants to identify these two boys
The Met wants to identify these two boys. Picture: Metropolitan Police

He added: "Our enquiries so far have established that there was no racial or gang element to this incident, it appears to have been a spontaneous fight between two people who didn’t know each other, that quickly escalated to extreme violence."

Paramedics were unable to save Harry and he died just minutes before revellers on the hill cheered in the New Year.

A 16-year-old was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and remains on bail as police investigate.

Police announced on Wednesday that they have since arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of murder.

He was taken to a central London police station along with an 18-year-old man, who was held on suspicion of affray.

All have been released on bail.

"Despite having made three arrests, I am still very keen to hear from anyone who has footage or information that could assist our investigation, particularly if you can name any of the people in the images," DCI Grogan said.

"I would also like to thank everyone who has come forward so far, the response from the public has been exceptional. Please continue to come forward if you can help."

Officers have been combing through Primrose Hill, a popular park in north London with excellent views over the capital - a prime spot for trying to catch fireworks.

Read more: Grandfather of Harry Pitman says family is 'in a daze' since teen stabbed to death on Primrose Hill on New Year's Eve

Harry Pitman was stabbed to death at Primrose Hill
Harry Pitman was stabbed to death at Primrose Hill. Picture: Alamy

Police said thousands would have been there.

Heartbroken grandfather Derek Pitman described the moment Harry's father Neil told him his boy had been killed.

"He was just saying "no, no, no it can't be true" over and over and then he said Harry's been stabbed. He's dead," he said.

"Harry's dinner was waiting for him, laid out on the table, with his mother unable to stop crying, repeatedly saying 'he hasn't had his dinner'."

A vigil was held for Harry in north London on Tuesday night.

Family members attended the event at Downhills Park, some 200 yards from their home in Tottenham.

Call investigators direct on 020 8785 8099, on 101 or tweet on @MetCC with information.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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