Mother appeals for help to solve racist killing

THE WEEPING mother of an Asian student who drowned in the River Thames after an earlier racial attack made an unprecedented joint appeal with Scotland Yard yesterday in the latest attempt to find out how he died.

For most of the two years since the death of Lakhvinder Reel, known as Ricky, his family have had a fraught relationship with the Metropolitan Police, accusing the force of failing to investigate the death properly. But yesterday Ricky's mother, Sukhdev, joined Detective Chief Inspector Sue Hill to relaunch the police inquiry, as an enhanced photo image was released of two men walking in Pratt's Passage alleyway, Kingston upon Thames, at 12.10am on 14 October 1997.

Police believe that only one minute later the pair - both white males aged 18-30 - may have been involved in a racial incident with Ricky, 20, and his Asian friends.

Racial insults, including the words "Oi Paki! Shut up!" were shouted at the Asian group, who were on a night out. As a fracas broke out and punches were thrown, Ricky, a Brunel University student, fled. His body was later discovered one third of a mile away in the River Thames.

Police yesterday also released two further images taken from closed-circuit television cameras minutes after the fracas took place in the Clarence Street precinct. One shows three men in dark clothing, one with an umbrella, and the other pictures a man or woman in a hooded jacket.

Mrs Reel said yesterday that she would not be able to sleep at night until she knew how her son had died.

"All I can see is Ricky running and I feel guilty because I was not there to save him. I feel I have let him down as a mother." She said that 22 months after Ricky's death she often went to Kingston shopping precinct in the early hours of the morning - "when nobody is going to see me" - just to stand and cry.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve, head of Scotland Yard's Racial and Violent Crime Task Force, said the mystery was a challenge to the whole of society. "Either we think this is important and we try and do something about this as a society or we might as well give up about all the course of events that Sir William Macpherson has put in train."

Mr Grieve said that the two men involved in the racial incident would certainly have boasted about it to their friends, family or girlfriends. But Det Ch Insp Hill pointed out that "evidentially" she could not link the fracas in the precinct with Ricky's death by drowning in the river.

Police believe the two white males - who are 5ft 10in and 5ft 6in - may have boarded a 281 bus to leave the area. They have conducted extensive interviews with local businesses, taxi drivers and nightclubbers but have few leads to go on. Anyone with information is asked to call 0171 230 4374.

Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin