Birmingham Arrest Over Tram Knife Attack

7 April 2017, 16:00

Benson Road tram murder

The grieving sons of a man found stabbed to death at a tram stop have visited the scene to lay flowers in his memory.

Anthony Banting, 57, died after suffering multiple stab wounds in a vicious attack at the Midland Metro's Soho Benson Road station in Birmingham on Friday 31st of March.

The father-of-four and grandfather, known as Tony, was killed as he walked to meet one of his sons in a nearby pub.

Police believe the stabbing was "an entirely random attack'', and arrested a local man in connection with the killing on Friday.

In a moving scene, the victim's children Lee, 31, James, 29, Tom, 26, and 23-year-old Jack shared embraces as they placed flowers to horse-racing fan Mr Banting on steps leading to the station platform.

They stood or knelt in silence, rubbing their heads in disbelief, as they read cards on the growing numbers of floral tributes which have been placed at the spot.

One, from the victim's grandchildren, read simply: "We miss you granddad.''

After sprinkling drops of holy water at the scene, they walked from the scene where their father had died, arms around one another's shoulders.

In a tribute issued earlier this week, Mr Banting's sons said: "Dad was a simple man with simple pleasures, and loved nothing more than spending time with his boys.

"He enjoyed crown green bowling, National Hunt racing and he regularly travelled to enjoy the sunshine.

"He was loved by many and this incident will never leave us. We would appeal to anyone with any information to come forward immediately.''

It is the first killing on the Midlands Metro system since it opened in May 1999, and happened just a few yards from a primary school.

CCTV images of a man have been released by detectives, who they believe has vital information about the death.

Senior investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley, of British Transport Police, has said officers do not believe Mr Banting knew his killer.

He said: "The victim in this case, Mr Banting, got off a train here at Soho Benson Road tram stop and as he moved up the footpath, he was found fatally stabbed multiple times at this location.''

Mr Langley added: "I believe this is an entirely random incident and he met his attacker by pure chance.

"Obviously this is an on-going investigation, and that may provide us an alternative theory, but at this moment in time I believe this to be entirely random.

"He'd got a tram and was due to meet his son at a pub in the local area.''

Mr Langley said he still wanted to hear from any witnesses, who had yet to come forward.

He added: "As things stand, I would still appeal for anybody that may have had information - anybody that might have been in the area at the time or who may know that individual in the CCTV stills that have been released - to come forward.''

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