Daniel Blake death: Grieving Neasden father’s ‘fingers crossed’ after meeting with top cop

Daniel Blake

Daniel Blake - Credit: Archant

The grieving father of a teenager found dead in Neasden 22 years ago has his “fingers crossed” for progress on his son’s case – after police finally agreed to meet him and give him access to files.

Daniel Blake, a talented mechanical engineer student, was found by railway tracks beneath Dudden Hill bridge, Neasden, the morning after attending a party in Burrows Road, Kensal Green, on March 23, 1996.

The police said it was suicide, that the 18-year-old jumped from the bridge; his family has always maintained it was murder.

Investigations were opened and then closed.

Supt Claire Clark, from Barnet Police, visited Bonny Blake at his home on October 29 following intervention from Brent Central MP Dawn Butler.

Mr Blake said: “It was a long meeting, a couple of hours. She said she would go through all the papers, and would try to get the post mortem reports, go to the coroner and get those papers and find out what happened.”

Mr Blake has always maintained that his cherished son was killed by a gang in Hazel Road, Kensal Green, and his body driven to Dudden Hill bridge and then placed on the tracks.

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Mr Blake believes mistakes made by police in the first hours of the inquiry have permanently distorted the case.

He continues to query the post mortem examinations, initial actions by Kilburn police, investigations by the British Transport Police, and subsequent Met investigations in 1999, when his son’s body was exhumed, and evidence emerged that Daniel had been beaten and stabbed.

Ms Butler wrote to the police commissioner Cressida Dick on his behalf in August.

“She [Supt Clark] would not have come here unless she was told by higher people. It’s a big case – there’s a lot wrong with it,” Mr Blake continued.

Mr Blake complains police never fully investigated a car Daniel was seen being bundled into the night before he was found dead. “She said she would chase that down and find out what the forensics said and let me know.

“The attack on Daniel wasn’t on the railway line – it was in another area.

“So why didn’t Kilburn police investigate?

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed. She’s going to get all the papers and find out what is behind it all.”

Police said that, while they will not be reopening the case at the moment, “Mr Blake requested copies of two files which Supt Clark is looking to obtain.”

Supt Clark said: “We are very sad for the loss Mr Blake suffered. I can think of nothing more devastating than the loss of a child, particularly in such difficult circumstances.”