UK: I rang his phone for two hours but there was no answer – says mum of teenager killed in knife attack

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By UK Correspondent

Annamore suggested she had a premonition about the tragedy on the night Trust was fatally stabbed.

“I was worried; I don’t know why but just I had this worried feeling inside of me.”

THURSDAY’S funeral service for Trust Junior Gangata forced tears and smiles from the hundreds of people who attended the sombre send-off at Leeds United’s Elland Road football ground.

Tears over the tragic manner of his passing and its impact on friends and family but smiles at recollections of the kind of person he was … funny without effort, loving, intelligent and caring.

More than 600 people, including family members who travelled from Zimbabwe, attended the Elland Road service ahead of burial at Garforth Cemetery.

Those not able to attend in person managed to follow the funeral service through a live broadcast sponsored by Diaspora Insurance.

Trust, a 17-year-old sixth form student at Notre Dame Sixth Form College, died on the morning of March 19 after being stabbed at a house party in Leeds.

Particularly heartrending was the testimony of his mother who – more than a month later – was is struggling to come to terms with the passing of the youngest of her three children.

“It’s. not easy to stand in front of you giving a speech about my son, TJ,” said Annamore Gangata.

Trust Gangata’s mother Annamore (second from right)

“I can’t believe my baby is gone. From the day he passed on, I kept thinking that it was a dream and that one day I would see him walking in through the door but it never happened.”


Annamore suggested she had a premonition about the tragedy on the night Trust was fatally stabbed.

“I was at a prayer retreat that night and I remember, during a break, phoning TJ and telling him that I wanted to have a talk with him when I got home.

“I told him I wanted to make time to talk to him because I never get time since I’m always at work so he should make sure to be home when I returned.

“He said okay mum. When I got home, I expected to see him, I looked for him, rang his phone for about two hours but he was not answering. I then left messages on his phone and went to sleep.

“I was worried; I don’t know why but just I had this worried feeling inside of me.”


She added; “When I woke up just after 3am, I saw many missed calls on my phones and messages, some of which said TJ had been stabbed.

“I thought it was just a stabbing and that he would be okay. The police later came and took me to the hospital. I asked whether my son was still alive … and then a line of doctors came to me and said ‘we are very sorry’.”

“We were very close with TJ; he would do anything I asked of him, cook, clean the house wash the dishes.

“He was always talking about going into business and told me that I would never go into a care home because he would look after me.”

Although he was born in the UK, Trust was very connected to his Zimbabwean roots.

One of Trust’s former head teachers addresses the funeral service

“He was proud of his heritage and family and would share stories about Zimbabwe and its customs during times like international week,” said the head teacher at his former school.

“He had an infectious smile, and it would always get him out of any trouble at school because staff would just find themselves smiling too and forgetting what they were cross about.

“Some of the words cited by staff and students to describe him include fun-loving, caring with a great sense of humour and a boy who always had a twinkle in his eye.”

His brother Emmanuel also recalled that keen sense of humour.

“TJ was one of those people who never needed to tell a joke in order to be funny. There was no way you could be around him and be sad,” said Emmanuel.

“He was very mature for his age and, although he was my younger brother, I saw him as my older brother because he had a way of looking at things, a certain perspective, that would help me figure my way around some challenges.”

What happened?

Local police responded to reports of a disturbance at a house party in Armley, at 2.48am on Sunday March 19. A further call was received from the ambulance service who were responding reports of a man having been stabbed at the address.

Officers attended and dispersed people from the area around the address, and the victim, a 17-year-old boy from Leeds, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Four suspects have since been charged with the murder. They were remanded into custody after their first appearance at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

The four defendants later appeared at Leeds Crown Court on March 24 for a preliminary hearing. None of them entered a plea and a preliminary trial date was set for September 18.

Commenting on the tragedy Detective Chief Inspector Alan Weekes said: “The loss of a young life in such sudden and violent circumstances is an absolute tragedy.

“We are continuing to support this young man’s family at what is clearly an incredibly difficult time for them, and we are committed to getting them the answers they need as we progress our enquiries.”