St Albans suspected stabbing - two weeks on...

Memorial Service

Memorial Service - Credit: Archant

Following a turbulent fortnight in the wake of the tragic death of Emille Stapleton, will calm now return to the streets of St Albans?

Friends and family of Emille Stapleton, who died after a suspected stabbing on London Road, St Albans, two weeks ago, have laid flowers and paid tribute to the 20-year-old, marking the end of a turbulent and emotional week.

The Stapleton family organised a minute’s silence for Emille – known to friends as ‘Millz’ - on Sunday, while the Rev’d Richard Watson, of St Albans Abbey conducted a short service near the flat in which he was alleged to have been stabbed.

Dozens of people attended the memorial, including Shannon Louise Johnson, who said: “The whole road had people on both sides and it was lovely to see everyone coming together as a community to support our friends, family and each other.

“Everyone wanted to pay their respects to Millz as well - it was just amazing. With all the people that came, it just goes to show how many hearts Millz touched and he will be missed terribly.”

A JustGiving page on the internet has so far raised more than £6,300 to pay for Emille’s funeral. Mark Russell, who set up the page, wrote: “Thank you so so so so much. Words can’t express how thankful we all are.

“It just shows there are some good people out there and once again thank you for the donations. The family have said they are over the moon and they can now give their son the service he deserves.”

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Emille was killed in an ‘altercation’ on London Road, St Albans, 12 days ago. Eleven people – men, women and girls aged between 17 and 27 - were arrested and subsequently released on bail.

On the evening of October 28, the Herts Advertiser received reports from two separate sources that a gang of youths had been seen jumping on a police car parked in an archway near the site of Emille’s death.

Lisa from North London, who did not want to give her surname, was visiting St Albans when she saw the incident. She said: “It was really bizarre seeing that happen where the [alleged] murder had taken place.”

But Inspector Adam Such said that he did no know of the incident, confirmed that no police cars had been damaged and insisted that the team monitoring CCTV footage of the site had not seen the incident.

Later that night, up to 30 young men targeted a chicken shop on Vesta Avenue, St Albans. The shop’s windows were smashed, while a neighbour reported seeing a television set being thrown over the counter.

These incidents of violence, thought to have been triggered by Emille’s death, later sparked a statement from the Stapleton family urging the community to “not to use his death as an excuse for disorder and unruly behaviour”.

* Paul Crosbie, 26, whose address is given as Camden, was arrested on Monday in Comet Way, Hatfield, and has since been charged with Emille’s murder.

He appeared at Hatfield Remand Court on Wednesday and was remanded in custody. A court date will now be set.