London

Crimewatch appeal over Wapping pub stabbing in 1997

John Kennedy
Image caption John Kennedy was stabbed in the abdomen

An unsolved fatal stabbing in an east London pub 16 years ago will feature on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

John Kennedy, 31, from Oban Street, Poplar, died in February 1997 after a fight at the Railway Arms pub, in Sutton Street, Wapping.

Up to 60 people were in the pub when the father of two was attacked at about 03:00 during a night out with friends.

Many people "chose not to talk" while some "withdrew their statements", Det Ch Insp John Sandlin said.

A reward of £20,000 is on offer for information leading to the killer of the electrician and keen footballer.

Mr Kennedy was the brother of Jade Jones, the former lead singer of boy band Damage and husband of ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton.

Mr Sandlin added: "We hope appearing on BBC Crimewatch, and the continued offer of a substantial reward, will encourage people to come forward.

"There were approaching 60 people in the Railway Arms at that time who saw or know what happened but for whatever reason chose not to talk to police.

"There were others who did initially talk to us but then withdrew their statements."

"John's family cannot rest until justice is served," he added.

No conviction

The victim was approached by a man he knew and they got into an altercation. A friend who tried to intervene was assaulted, police said.

Mr Kennedy was then attacked with a knife and died hours later from a stab wound to the abdomen.

A man was charged with the murder in 1997, but no-one was convicted.

The investigation was reopened after the killing was reviewed in 2010.

At the time the £20,000 reward was offered in June, Mr Kennedy's family appealed: "Please find it in your hearts after 16 years to do the right thing and help bring the person responsible to justice."

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