Police release pictures of suspects in racist murder

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The Independent Online
FOUR MURDER suspects had their photographs and names released yesterday by detectives hunting the racist killers of a former paratrooper who was beaten to death with a baseball bat and wooden posts.

Ben Kamanalagi, who was of Fijian origin and a former private in The Parachute Regiment, was attacked on 7 September as he walked to a friend's house in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Police said they wanted to interview four men - Anthony Curtis, 20, Rickton Henry, 19, Patrick McDonagh, 19, and Richard Smith, 18 - all from the Salford and Cheetham Hill areas of Greater Manchester, about the murder. Police believe the four may be in hiding in Manchester or could have fled the country. Detectives from Greater Manchester Police are in contact with colleagues in Spain and Ireland after reports that some of the suspects were seen in those countries.

Mr Kamanalagi was murdered by four men who beat him to the ground with a wooden weapon and punched him while yelling racist abuse. He died in Salford after a blow to the base of his skull. His girlfriend was pregnant with the couple's daughter at the time of the killing.

Detectives said they believed the men responsible for the attack were being shielded by friends and relatives.

Four nights before Mr Kamanalagi died he had been working as a bouncer at the Epic nightclub in Manchester and had asked four men to put their gold jewellery in their pockets. Once inside, one of the men, an 18-year- old, put his necklace back on and was told he was going to be thrown out.

Mr Kamanalagi ejected the man, who hurled racist abuse at him. The man was later arrested after allegedly shouting racist slurs at an Asian policeman and given bail. The other three men left in a black BMW.

Police believe that days later the men tracked Mr Kamanalagi as he walked along Meadowgate Road and attacked and killed him. All four men escaped in a black BMW 325i coupe, registration K266 FRE, which has not been found.

The names and photographs of the four suspects were released after police analysis of film taken by surveillance cameras at the club.

A pounds 10,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for Mr Kamanalagi's murder. Anyone with information should call 0161-856 7834.