Man charged with Covent Garden stabbing

A man was tonight charged with the murder of 12-year-old Diego Pineiro-Villar in Covent Garden, London on Sunday. According to police, Edward Alexander Crowley, 52, unemployed and of no fixed address, was also charged with the attempted murder of a 15-year-old in Covent Garden.

Crowley, who remains in custody, is due to appear at Highbury Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Thousands of people were out enjoying the balmy weather conditions in central London when the attack took place at about 8.10 on Sunday evening. People nearby, including shopkeepers and restaurant owners, intervened to help the boys.

Diego, who lived with his Spanish mother in nearby Charing Cross Road, died from multiple stab wounds despite frantic efforts to save him by paramedics. He and his elder step-brother were taken to a south London hospital, but the younger boy was declared dead 40 minutes later. The 15-year-old boy's injuries were said not to be life-threatening.

Floral tributes were placed below a sign reading "Rest In Peace" which was nailed to a tree in the location of the incident.

Two messages attached to bouquets read: "You didn't deserve to die like this, we hope you are at peace now" and "Our sympathy".

A two minutes' silence was held at Diego's Spanish school, Canada Blanch in Ladbroke Grove, west London, this afternoon. Tomorrow will be an official day of mourning with lessons cancelled and a religious service instead.