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Police appeal to murder scene photographer

MURDERED: Shankar Kathirgamanathan.
MURDERED: Shankar Kathirgamanathan.
CRIME SCENE: The footbridge where the attack took place on April 22.
CRIME SCENE: The footbridge where the attack took place on April 22.

DETECTIVES have appealed for a mystery photographer who took pictures at the scene of a vicious attack to come forward.

They want information to help their investigation into the killing of Shankar Kathirgamanathan in Ashford.

Witnesses reported seeing a young man taking photographs on a digital camera or mobile phone shortly after Shankar, a 24-year-old Sri Lankan man, was attacked.

Shankar, of Cleves Way, South Ashford, was beaten by two men on April 22 as he walked into the town centre over the Victoria Road footbridge with a friend.

He was pronounced dead at the William Harvey hospital two weeks later.

A memorial service was held at the scene of the attack on Sunday morning.

The mystery photographer was spotted just after the attack at 3.30pm. He left the scene before police and ambulance crews arrived.

Det Ch Insp Anne Brittain said: “We are appealing for this man to come forward, or anyone who may have been shown the photograph that was taken.

“The photographer or the picture could have important information for our inquiry.

“We are told that the man held the camera away from him, so it appears to be a digital type of camera or even a mobile phone.

“It is unclear why and for what purpose this man took the photograph, but it could be vital to our inquiry.”

Shankar, a born-again Christian who worked at the KFC takeaway in Beaver Road, was due to marry his German fiancee in Ashford this week.

Meanwhile, the two men charged with murdering Shankar have made their first crown court appearance.

Tony Pile, 18, of Baileys Field, South Ashford, and James Rossiter, 22, of Loudon Path, Ashford, went before Judge Andrew Patience QC at Maidstone Crown Court.

Both spoke only to confirm their names during the short preliminary hearing.

They were remanded in custody until July 19 and no bail applications were made.

KM-fm's Katie Williams reports...

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