Monday, 26 May 2008
Potter's Star Dead
Robert (right) with brother Jamie (left) and mother Sally (centre)
This news is from the News Of The World
Harry Potter star stabbed to death
Robert Knox died saving brother
By Daniel Sanderson & Carole Aye Maung
HARRY POTTER star Robert Knox was stabbed to death desperately trying to protect his little brother, the News of the World can reveal.
Robert, 18, waded in to defend 16-year-old Jamie after they and a group of friends were confronted in a bar by a crazed attacker armed with two knives.
One pal revealed: "Jamie idolised his brother. This is going to be unbearable for him. "They went everywhere together and did everything together."
The brothers were so close that when Robert completed his scenes as Marcus Belby for Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince just two weeks ago Jamie was there watching proudly on the set.
Another pal said: "Rob's best chat-up line was, ‘I'm in Harry Potter'. He used to take us down to the set. I can't even think of watching the film now."
Last night, Robert's pals told how his sobbing mother cradled her dying son.
Tarik Ozresberoglu, 17, described how shattered Sally Knox rushed to the scene and got there before the ambulance. Police allowed her inside a hastily-erected cordon and she knelt by his side "crying and crying".
Another friend, builder Scott Shorter, 18, described how he held Robert in his arms before Sally arrived, begging him to stay alive. He said the pals were due to go on holiday to Greek isle Zante in three weeks.
Robert's death outside the Metro Bar in Sidcup, Kent, came exactly two weeks after altar boy Jimmy Mizen had his throat cut in Lee, just five miles away.
Incredibly, both Robert and Jimmy, 16, played for Sidcup Rugby Club, though it is not clear if they were friends.
Witnesses said the Knox brothers became caught up in the frenzied attack after a man accused one of their pals of stealing a mobile phone.
Lee Howard, 19, a friend of Robert who saw the trouble, said: "We were in the bar, just having a drink on a Friday night as normal, when word went round that someone was coming down, tooled up with knives.
"We told the bouncers on the door but they told us not to worry.
"Then two black men in an Audi A3 turned up outside. The bouncers didn't seem to search them and let them into the bar.
"It kicked off straight away. One of them went up to Jamie and said, ‘I'm going to get you. I'm going to slit your throat.'
"This man threw a chair at Jamie and a big fight erupted. We were all just trying to get the knife off him.
"It all spilled outside the bar. We got the man in the bushes but he pulled out another knife.
"He had one in each hand and was just lashing out. There must have been six people who he stabbed. It was terrible." His accomplice fled.
One of their group, 21-year-old Dean Saunders, is thought to have been stabbed three times on the left side of his neck.
He was "serious" in hospital last night but his condition was not thought to be life-threatening.
Andrew Dormer, 16, was stabbed in the chest but released from hospital yesterday afternoon to join well-wishers laying flowers at the murder scene.
Other pals of the Knox brothers hurt in the incident were Nick Jones, 19, who was stabbed in the hand, and Charlie Grimley, 17, cut in the cheek and arm and Tom Hopkins, 18, struck on the back of the head.
It was Tom, who plays for Southend United's youth team, and Tarik who wrestled the attacker in the bushes.
The brave pair struggled with him for six minutes before police arrived.
Tom said: "Tarik rugby-tackled him and he fell into the bushes. I jumped on him. Tarik Pal Nick Jones was stabbed in the hand was shouting, ‘I've got the knife' but I didn't realise the bloke had got two knives." Showing his wounds from the struggle, Tom added: "He gashed the back of my head. We just wanted to get the knives off him. It was chaos.
"I walked round the corner and burst into tears. I saw Rob lying on the ground face-up. He was covered in blood."
Tarik said that after he was stabbed "Rob stumbled back and lifted up his top and I saw blood." Tarik ripped off his friend's jumper and tried to stem the bleeding.
But Robert, thought to have three stab wounds to the chest, was pronounced dead at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, shortly before 1am yesterday.
Tom added: "Rob was just trying to help out. He was like that."
Nick Jones told of the chilling moment the knifeman turned to him and made reference to his relatively minor wound, saying: "He said, ‘You're lucky—it's not your day'."
Pal Tom wrestled knifeman Talented Robert had appeared in a number of TV shows including The Bill and Tonight With Trevor McDonald.
But his career had really started to blossom after he was picked for a role in the movie version of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. His character is Ravenclaw student Marcus Belby, whose uncle Damocles invented the Wolfsbane Potion in the books by J K Rowling. The film is released in November.
Just five years ago, aged 13 and weighing 13st, Robert was bullied mercilessly. That intensified when he became a star of Channel 4 reality show Trust Me, I'm A Teenager.
In an interview with our sister paper, The Sun, four years ago Robert spoke movingly about the trauma. He said: "It got so bad I dreaded going into school.
"They used to push me and beat me up in the corridor or outside in the school grounds. I started really hating myself. I didn't like what I saw."
In the same interview mum Sally, 49, revealed: "On one occasion Rob phoned me. He was in tears and begging not to have to go back to school.
HURT: Pal Charlie
"As I was trying to calm him down, one of the boys threw a glass bottle and it hit him on the head. That was the last straw. After that happened we decided he should move school."
Robert switched to Beths Grammar School in Bexley where he got three A-levels. In September 2004, Robert took part in an episode of the Trevor McDonald show focusing on child obesity.
More than a hundred people, many sobbing and some who were injured in the knife frenzy, turned up at the murder scene to pay their respects to Robert yesterday afternoon.
Many laid flowers at the spot where the young actor lay bleeding to death.
One tribute read: "We tried our best to stop it. We will never forget you, mate. Love always, Tom, Jack, Pav, Tarik."
Robert's grieving parents Sally and Colin, of nearby Swanley, issued a statement saying: "Rob was kind and thoughtful and would always help out others. He would always spend his last penny on other people instead of himself. The life and soul of the party, he was very outgoing, loved sports and would always strike up a conversation with people.
"He was respectful to others and adored by all his family and friends. He was an asset to the family."
The youngster's uncle Kevin May, 42, said: "Rob was such a decent young man.
"We're all shattered. His family are in bits, they're devastated. Where's it all going to end? When is this violence by young people going to stop?" Shadow Home Secretary David Davis told the News of the World last night: "Tragically, these kinds of horrific incidents have become all too common.
"Lax law enforcement and mixed messages on drugs and binge-drinking have left the public less safe. We need an overhaul, at every level, to tackle this scourge on our streets."
And new London mayor Boris Johnson said: "It's outrageous and clearly unacceptable that anyone can cause such misery and carnage.
"My heart goes out to the family and I swear to them and all Londoners that tackling this menace will be my utmost priority as mayor."
Warner Brothers, who make the Harry Potter movies, said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Robert's family."
A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out tomorrow.
Carl Bishop, 21, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and was in custody last night.
Horror of Girlfriend
ROBERT'S former girlfriend last night called him "the love of my life."
Devastated Elice Buck sobbed: "I have cried and cried all I can since I got the phone call and it still hasn't sunk in.
Elice at the scene
"I just can't believe I will never see Rob again. I will never see his cheeky smile or hear his voice.
"He was such a special person. It all just seems like a bad dream. This sort of thing always seems to happen to the good guys."
Elice, 18, went on: "He was convinced he was going to be a star and we all knew he would be too.
"The thing I loved about him the most was that he was so talented, yet modest with it."
She added: "I wish I had been there because maybe I would have been able to calm things down and Rob would still be here."