East Ham MP pays tribute to murdered pensioner

A pensioner found murdered in East Ham has been named locally as Vethanayagam Anthonypillai.

The 68-year-old was discovered at an address in Burges Road on Thursday evening with head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem held at East Ham mortuary on Friday confirmed cause of death as head and neck injuries.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms paid tribute to the pensioner, who was known locally as ‘Tony’.

He said Tony had lived in Newham since being forced to flee from Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. He was joined later by his wife, Gladys, and their son, and a second son was born in the UK.

Mr Timms said: “I knew Mr Anthonypillai - known to all as ‘Tony’ - well as the proprietor of the Udaya restaurant in Katherine Road, where Gladys was the cook responsible for superb cooking. We asked Tony and Gladys to cater for our silver wedding celebration in 2011, and they did a great job.

“Tony was an exceptionally kind and generous man, with time for everyone and a ready wit. He was an active member of St Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, East Ham. I shall always think of him with affection and gratitude.”

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A 27-year-old man arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and taken to an east London police station has been sectioned under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act and taken to a secure psychiatric facility for assessment

An incident room has opened at Barking under DCI Chris Jones (Homicide and Serious Crime Command).

Anyone with information call police on 020 8345 3734 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.