Permanent memorial planned for Richard Everitt – 30 years after teenager’s death

Richard Everitt died in 1994 in “an unprovoked racist attack”

A PERMANENT memorial to a teenager who was murdered 30 years ago is to be unveiled on the anniversary of the tragedy.

The “circular bench and bespoke plinth” for Richard Everitt will be installed in a rose-lined “contemplation garden” in a revamped Purchese Street Open Space, Somers Town.

Richard was fatally stabbed aged 15 close to the park in 1994 in what a judge later ruled was “an unprovoked racial attack”. The sculpted memorial is replacing a bench and plaque that was neglected and later damaged by the council after it was moved into storage during a regeneration project in Somers Town.

The Everitt family was furious at the time over what they said was a lack of respect from the Town Hall.

But this week Richard’s brother, Danny, told the New Journal They felt pleased the council had now done the right thing.

He said: “To be honest we are all just relieved that after all this time it’s actually being done. We’re all happy and my mom’s happy, and that’s the main thing. It’s taken 30 years.

“It’s been difficult at times to get the council to properly acknowledge Richard and remember him. “That is all we ever wanted, and it shouldn’t have been this long.”

Mr Everitt said he was expecting a big turnout of the Somers Town faithful at the unveiling, adding that he did not want any political point-scoring groups coming down to spoil the day. It is set to be bittersweet after Richard’s father passed away last year.

Mr Everitt said: “Our family has been in Somers Town for 150 years and there are still a lot that live around there too. Many of us have had to move out too. There’s not enough affordable housing is there?”

South Camden Community School rebranded as Regent High

Now living in south London, he added: “But you can take us out of Somers Town, but you can’t take the Somers Town out of us.”

Camden sold off the land allowing a developer to build a tower of luxury flats on what had previously been open space, but in return used the money to pay for the long-needed refurbishment of Edith Neville Primary School and other projects including the upgrade of the Plot 10 children’s club.

Documents show council chiefs will give the Everitt family a £5,000 “grant” to help them pay for a private anniversary event this summer.

Mr Everitt said this would be used to bring Richard’s family together, with some living in different countries and dotted around the United Kingdom.

Richard, who went to William Ellis and South Camden Community School [now Regent High]was murdered on August 13, 1994. He had been on his way home from playing football when he was confronted by around 20 older boys and stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife as he tried to run to safety.

The attack on Richard and his friends was said to be in revenge for a jewelery mugging by another Somers Town boy a day before – even though Richard had nothing to do with that incident.

In an interview with the New Journal in 2021, Mr Everitt described his younger brother, who would have turned 45 this year, as a quiet young lad who was interested in building bikes and playing computer games, adding: “Him and his group of mates, they were just into football, “they weren’t troublemakers.”

Richard’s murder led to tensions between youths in Regent’s Park and Somers Town estates for several years. The Camden Action Now campaign was launched with the Everitt family in a bid to unite the Somers Town community with a series of meetings in youth clubs. The campaign was successful in forcing improvements at some schools and on estates.

The new memorial will have the same inscription that was on the original bench in Somers Town: “Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. Always with us darling. Mummy. Daddy. Daniel. Lucy. Shirley and all your family and friends.”

The council documents said: “The Purchese Street Open Spaces improvement works include refreshed planting and the contemplation garden area around the memorial will include native biodiversity-rich planting alongside a rose garden around the pre-existing mature trees.”

The park is expected to be back open in the autumn.

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