Pupils saw photo of their murdered brother during police presentation at school
- Credit: Archant
The brother and sister of a murdered teenager were devastated after his photograph was used in a presentation by police at their school.
Luke, 18, was stamped to death last year by three of his housemates just hours after moving into a bedsit
His step father Anthony Dray said police have still not apologised for using his picture during an anti-violence assembly at Eastbrook School in Dagenham Road, Dagenham six months ago.
He said: “It is bad enough that they have to deal with their brother being murdered, they definitely shouldn’t have to deal with anything like that.
“The police have had plenty of time to send through an apology – it shouldn’t take six months.”
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The officers’ visit to the school was part of a roadshow warning pupils about how young people can become victims of crime.
Twins Serena and Aaron Harwood, 15, were in the school hall for the assembly when they saw a photograph of Luke on the first page of the police’s presentation.
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Anthony, 52, said the family had moved from Harold Hill to Boleyn Gardens, Dagenham after Luke’s death in Romford to try to make it easier for Serena and Aaron to cope.
He said: “They were already struggling to come to terms with the death of Luke but what happened at the school just brought it all back. They came home that day and they were so upset.”
Valerie Dennis, headteacher at Eastbrook, said that she was unaware that Luke’s photo was going to be used in the presentation.
She said: “It was a really unfortunate thing to happen. The material for the poster was checked by our school police officer but he doesn’t know the kids enough to know that Luke’s brother and sister attend the school.”
Valerie said she had apologised to both Aaron and Serena.
Police Superintendent Mike Hamer has pledged that all school presentations in the borough will be approved with teaching staff before the event.
He said: “The family concerned in this unfortunate incident will be contacted by a police inspector who will apologise on behalf of the borough for any distress that they have suffered.”
James Danby, 27, Emma Hall, 21, and Tony O’Toole, 30, were convicted of murdering Luke in April.