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Tributes paid to murdered father-of-three James Harris Durkin
BUNCHES of flowers and football tops have been left outside the home of a murdered father’s family.
They are in tribute to James Harris Durkin who was pronounced dead in hospital on Tuesday evening after his life support machine was switched off.
The 21-year-old, who is believed to have attended the Priory School, was found suffering from a serious head injury in Court Road, Orpington, at around 3am that day.
He was found near the bottom of the stairs leading to Green Lane and at first police were treating his death as unexplained but they believed it to be non-suspicious.
Then on Thursday (June 7) a post-mortem examination at Greenwich Mortuary gave the cause of death as a deep brain bleed linked to blunt force trauma and a murder inquiry has now been launched.
At the family home in Poverest News Shopper was told the family have been advised by the police to not say anything to the press.
But his friends have been paying tribute to him on Facebook including Teresa Weir who posted: “Today I woke up hoping the last two days was a bad dream...sadly it was real....love you...you little cheeky git....love tree x.” (sic)
And Megan Stacey who wrote: “Our house won't be the same without you James! No more arguing with my mum over her always giving u a ciggy, no more pizza making or water fights lol. But your safe now. Your dads missing you so much, the same as all of us...... Sweet dreams xxx.” (sic)
The father-of-three had come from his home in Eastbourne to Orpington to attend a funeral.
And on Monday he went to a Jubilee celebration barbecue with his friends and family in Court Road, Orpington.
A woman who lives in Green Lane, who did not want to be named, said police returned to the scene the day after the post-mortem examination to take photographs of the area.
She says they also had a police car parked by a nearby alleyway, which leads from Court Road to Kynaston Road, for much of the day.
An incident room has been opened at Lewisham police station under the control of Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons.
Officers want to speak to anyone who was in the Court Road area at the time of the assault and a Met police spokesman said: “There were a number of people at the party which was in an area of adjoining residential premises.
“There were also, despite the early hour of the assault, people in the area going to or returning from work in a part of Orpington that incorporates a busy road at the junction with Court Road and Lower Road, which is in close proximity to shops at Carlton Parade and the park, Priory Gardens.”
Anyone with any information about what happened is asked to call the police on 020 8721 4961 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Did you know James? Call the newsroom on 01689 885725.