New appeal over 1997 Wapping pub stabbing

image captionJohn Kennedy was stabbed in the abdomen

A £20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the killer of a man who was stabbed in an east London pub 16 years ago, police said.

John Kennedy, 31, was stabbed in February 1997 following a fight at the Railway Arms pub, in Sutton Street in Wapping.

Up to 60 people were in the pub at the time. Police and Mr Kennedy's family have urged witnesses to come forward.

The victim was the brother of Jade Jones, the lead singer of Damage.

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

The killing of the father of two from Oban Street, Poplar, was reviewed in 2010 and the investigation was reopened.

Witnesses withdrew statements

Mr Kennedy, an electrician, was on a night out with friends and had arrived at the pub in the early hours.

He was approached by a man he knew and they got into an altercation. When a friend tried to intervene he was assaulted, police said.

Mr Kennedy was then attacked with a knife. He died in hospital from a stab wound to the abdomen.

Det Ch Insp John Sandlin said: "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.

"It has been 16 years since John was murdered and people and lives move on. Some of those reluctant to talk to us at the time may now feel able to."

A statement from the victim's family said: "John's life was taken away and the murderer should be held accountable for his death.

"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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