Ben Kinsella was a young man – 16 years old – who grew up in Islington in London. He was stabbed to death on 29th June 2008.
Ben Kinsella went to Holloway School in Islington and wanted to be a graphic designer one day. He loved Art, Music, Arsenal FC, his dog Teddy and making people laugh.
On 28th June 2008, Ben’s Mum Debbie, Dad George and sister Georgia were away for the weekend. Ben was unable to go as he had just started working as a graphic designer for a local internet café - a job he loved - so he stayed home with his older sisters Brooke and Jade. That week, Ben had finished his GCSEs so on the Saturday night, Ben’s friends rang him to invite him to a popular venue close to his home to celebrate completing their exams. Ben was excited to go.
While they were in the venue, there was an altercation between an older group of boys which Ben wasn’t involved with. Some boys were angry because they felt they had been disrespected by some other boys at the venue. Security staff ejected both groups from the venue. Ben, his friends and all the other people at the venue continued with their evening.
On their way home, Ben and his friends realised they were being followed by three older teenagers. Scared and worried, they decided to run. But the older teenagers chased after them. They were seeking revenge for the altercation in the club that had taken place earlier that evening. Ben and his friends had nothing to do with it and so, possibly for this reason, Ben stopped running. The older boys caught up with Ben and in an entirely unprovoked attack, they stabbed him several times.
Ben had never met or spoken to the boys who stabbed him. He wasn’t involved in youth violence, gangs or drugs. He had a family who loved and cared for him and he did well at school. He was a ‘normal’ teenager. As his Mum Debbie read in her impact statement "The people who murdered him knew nothing about our Ben, not a hair on his head, a bone in his body, not anything about our wonderful son. They had never met him before or spoken to him - they just cruelly took his life away with knives for no apparent reason".
In the early hours of 29th June 2008, Ben died. He was just 16 years old.
Ben was the 17th teenager to be murdered that year in what would go on to be a record year for teenage homicide in London, with 29 victims [Sadly, 2021 set a new record, with 30 young people murdered in London that year].
The three boys who were aged 19 at the time, 3 years older than Ben, were caught by the police and found guilty in court. They were sentenced to a minimum of 19 years in prison in 2009.
"No parent or sibling should ever have to go through or see what we have seen with our son. He died in front of us. We can now only visit Ben at a cemetery, our beautiful son who so loved life".
Debbie Kinsella, Ben's Mum.