GMB weather man Alex Beresford has spoken movingly of the need to address poverty and opportunity in London in the wake of his cousin’s murder.
Nathaniel Armstrong, 29, was killed in west London on Saturday March 9 – just 11 days after the Good Morning Britain presenter made an impassioned on-air interjection into a conversation about street violence.
Alex Beresford said this morning: ‘No one would have expected this after I spoke out, you couldn’t make it up.
He said no one would have expected it of Nathaniel, saying of his late cousin: ‘He’s 29, he’s not in a gang, he went to a decent school, he went to university. He was a big guy, 6’6″, 6’7″. When you spoke to him you were literally looking up.’
He said he was a ‘big friendly giant’
Alex Beresford, GMB weather man, spoke of his cousin’s murder this morning
Nathaniel Armstrong, 29, was killed in west London on Saturday March 9 – just 11 days after the Good Morning Britain presenter spoke out about knife crime
‘For this to happen to him people were really quite shocked, he wasn’t really a fighter, he was someone who would talk his way out of things,’ the weather man went on.
‘It literally can happen to anybody. And that’s why I was saying on this show, it’s about the environment,
‘And it’s not just about one environment, it’s about changing everything. If you think about poverty, we’ve not solved that, and this is why a lot of people are finding themselves in those situations where.. something just needs to be done.’
Piers Morgan suggested that gun crime crime and acid crime fell in the face of tougher sentencing and that knife violence should be met with longer prison terms.
But Alex said: ‘There are some people who will be deterred by a bigger sentence, but lots of these boys who are carrying out these crimes, they don’t care.
He told the panel he did not think longer sentences were the answer to knife crime
‘If you’re prepared to pick up a knife and stab someone, and risk your own life, you are prepared to give up your life, and a bigger sentence is not a deterrent.’
He said the problem was centred around knife crime not gun crime because guns are so much harder to come by.
He added: ‘We need to think about the other side of it – this person who’d done this to my cousin, he’s also ruined his life. The ripple effect goes wider. It affects his family as well. And that’s why we have to fix this problem for both sides of it.
‘Nobody wins, everybody loses.’
He said police currently could not find his cousin’s killer, and until he is the family does not know a great deal, other than that, as CCTV shows, the pair were sen talking on CCTV and then later, out of shot, his cousin was killed by a single stab wound.
Alex said: ‘It’s a very small demographic of boys this is happening to – I understand why people will look at this and say ‘this is a black problem’ it’s not, it’s a problem happening up and down the UK in lots of different communities’.
He finished by speaking of the importance of positive black role models, including his own friends who are business owners and those ‘doing great things’.
Twenty-six people have been killed in London so far this year, after last year’s ten-year high
The 38-year-old weather man had previously hit headlines on March 5 after he spoke up on the ITV breakfast show during a panel debate on whether or not there should be more jails in the UK.
He said: ‘Prison doesn’t work though. It does not work.
‘I’ve grown up in some of these communities you guys are talking about. Some of these boys don’t fear prison.
‘If we don’t change the environment we won’t change anything. This has been happening for years, years, and it’s not always in the media.’
The presenter also gave his opinion on the idea that what was needed to tackle the menace of knife crime was more police officers.
One of Mr Armstrong’s friends, who gave his name as George, 30, said: ‘We don’t know how this happened.
‘He’s got a lot of friends who live local to here. He was well known in the local area.
‘Everyone in the area would have know him from basketball.’
He added: ‘He was super friendly, a BFG. He looked super scary – six foot seven, big beard – but super friendly. It would shock you how friendly he was.’
Detective chief inspector Glen Lloyd, leading the inquiry, said: ‘We are appealing for information from those who were out and about in the area at the time of the attack and saw anything of note.
‘My team is particularly keen to trace a light-skinned black male, approximately 6ft tall, who was seen near the scene at the time of the incident.’
A man walks into the middle of Gowan Avenue, Fulham before two others appear in the CCTV footage – he seems to be carrying a knife
While near the pavement the men have a scuffle, before they move towards a driveway along the road. They engage in an argument for short while on the residential street
After continuing to argue on the pavement (pictured), all three men move towards a driveway along the road. Just moments later two of the men emerge, before one collapses near a car
Nathaniel Armstrong (above) is the cousin of GMB presenter Alex Beresford
CCTV footage from the incident saw Nathaniel arguing with two men in the middle of Gowan Avenue where properties sell for around £1.5million.
Shocking video footage emerged yesterday showing the final moments of Nathan’s life.
On a quiet tree-lined street, three men can be seen arguing in the middle of the road before they disappear into a driveway.
Moments later, two of the men emerge but one is seen stumbling around on the pavement before collapsing next to a car at the top of the road.
Police were called to reports of a fight on Gowan Avenue in Fulham at around 12.27am where Nathaniel was found suffering from stab wounds.
He later died of from his injuries, despite desperate attempts to save him.