The grieving families of two Big Issue sellers who were fatally stabbed in Birmingham city centre on Friday have spoken of their loss.
Relatives of 32-year-old Wayne Busst and Ian Watson Gladwish, aged 31, have tonight paid tribute to them. The pair died following an alleged fight in Martineau Place on Friday evening, 11 January. Both men suffered fatal stab injuries and, despite the best efforts of police officers who administered emergency first aid, they were pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Busst’s family tonight released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened by Wayne’s death, he will be greatly missed by all his family and all that knew him. We also think of Ian’s family as they share in the grief at this sad time. We ask the press to respect the families request for privacy at this time, so that we can grieve in peace.
“The family would ask any member of the public with information that may assist the Police investigation come forward.”
Mr Watson Gladwish’s family also released a tribute and spoke of their loss:
“Ian was a husband, son, brother and dad. He was a kind loving person. To be taken away from us in these circumstances has left us all devastated, we will miss him dearly. We would like to thank everybody for their support during this difficult time and request that we a left to grieve in peace. Our sincerest condolences also go out to Wayne’s family. We hope that justice will be done.”
A man has been arrested and charged in connection with the deaths.
John Ward stood before Birmingham magistrates this morning to answer a double murder charge. Ward, aged 23 and of no fixed address, was remanded in prison and will next appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Wednesday (Jan 16).
Detective Inspector Buck Rogers is leading the investigation. He said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from the public so far and their information has proved vital to our investigation.
“Our enquiries continue and if there is anyone who saw something on Friday evening and hasn’t yet come forward we urge them to call us now on 101.”
West Midlands Police’s knife-crime lead officer, Chief Inspector Simon Wallis, reassured members of the public that fatal knife attacks are rare and that the number of knife-related incidents has fallen significantly over the last decade.
He said: “The force is committed to tackling knife crime and, in the last decade, the number of reported incidents involving knives has reduced by around 75 per cent – that’s some 3,000 fewer victims.
“We have played a lead role in numerous national programmes designed to tackle knife crime and proactively engage with young people in our schools, diverting them away from gangs and warning against the dangers of carrying knives. In fact, our Guns & Knives Take Lives presentation has reached in excess of 20,000 pupils across the region and we’ve had excellent feedback from teachers about the positive impact our input has had on students.
“There have been some high profile, tragic deaths involving knives but these are mercifully rare. The force remains committed to driving the knife-crime figure down further and this month will see the launch of a knife campaign which raises awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife.”
For more information on knife crime – including ways to anonymously report people who carry knives – visit: www.fearless.org
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