Partner of Brixton crush victim says someone must be found accountable | London

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The partner of one of the people who died after the O2 Brixton Academy crush has demanded justice for the victims of the disaster, insisting someone needs to be “accountable” for what happened.

Gaby Hutchinson, 23, died after fans tried to get into a show by the Nigerian artist Asake at the south London venue on 15 December.

Hutchinson, who used they and them pronouns, was working as a security dog handler at the concert. They died on 19 December from injuries they sustained.

Their partner, Phoebie Turley, 25, told the PA news agency: “Things like this should never have happened.

“Every action has a reaction and this consequence has come out of people turning up with no tickets or turning up trying to kick through a door. For what? What purpose did that serve? Because now you have killed innocent people.”

Rebecca Ikumelo, a mother of two, died on 17 December. A third victim remains in a critical condition.

Turley said: “They did not deserve this. Justice needs to be served and someone needs to be found accountable for what happened. Not just for Gaby, but for Rebecca as well.”

The couple, from Gravesend, had been together for more than three years, after meeting through mutual friends. Turley paid tribute to her partner, saying they were the nicest person she had ever known.

“They were just a good person,” Turley said. “Gaby literally would have done anything for anyone at the drop of a hat.

“They weren’t bothered who you were; Gaby would have given you the shirt off their back if someone else needed it. And they were like that our entire relationship. They did everything for me from the minute we met.”

On the night of the tragedy, Gaby was working at the concert with their security dog Coco, a three-year-old German shepherd. It was the first time they had ever worked at the music venue.

Turley said she became aware something was wrong when her partner stopped answering her messages.

“The last thing they said to me was: ‘I’ll wake you up when I’m home.’ And I just had a gut feeling the whole time that something wasn’t right,” Turley said.

“Normally, they would still reply here and there when they got five minutes, and I heard nothing. Then I got a phone call from a number that I didn’t know. It was their manager who said: ‘You need to get to St Thomas’ hospital’ and I was like: ‘What’s happened?’

“Nobody was really aware of the situation at that point. He’d obviously been given very little information because he wasn’t at the event. And then we all got to St Thomas’s as fast as we could.”

Hutchinson died from their injuries four days later.

The Metropolitan police has launched an investigation.

The O2 Academy Brixton has had its licence suspended until 16 January, when a full hearing will take place. Five shows will be cancelled as a result.

Turley and a family friend have set up two crowdfunding pages to help pay for funeral costs. So far, more than £5,500 has been raised.

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