Birmingham victim 'was a shy man who hated violence'

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The Independent Online

Isiah Young-Sam was stabbed as he walked the final 300 yards to his home off Lozells Road at 7pm on Saturday with his brother and friends.

Seventy-two hours earlier, a gang of up to 100 Afro-Caribbean youths had clashed with Asian youngsters when they rampaged through the streets. The Lozells area had been tense since rumours swept the area last week that a Jamaican girl had been raped by 19 Asian men.

The group of friends, including Mr Young-Sam, was attacked by 10 or 11 Asian men, some of them armed with knives and machetes.

Police continued a heavy presence in Lozells last night. Detectives said they were still uncertain whether the fatal shooting of an unnamed 18-year-old man barely a mile from Lozells was linked to Saturday's violence. Two men, 19 and 24, were being held on suspicion of murder.

Mr Young-Sam's mother, Murna McLean, described her son as a shy man and a fitness fanatic with a deep religious conviction who hated confrontation.

He was an IT analyst who whoworked for Birmingham City Council and had recently been promoted after starting as a trainee four years ago. Police said he had been an innocent victim of the racially inspired violence that gripped Lozells over the weekend.

As detectives appealed for information, police reiterated they had yet to find proof of the claimed rape that sparked the violence after lurid details were broadcast on pirate radio stations along with calls to boycott Asian businesses.