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Who would kill our loving pal?'

PUBLISHED: 09:41 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010

LOVING: David Cooper.

LOVING: David Cooper.

A YOUNG man beaten to death in a suspected homophobic attack was the life and soul of the party , according to grieving friends.

A YOUNG man beaten to death in a suspected homophobic attack was the "life and soul of the party", according to grieving friends.

David Cooper, 28, was found dead in his Woolwich flat by two friends last Wednesday, hours after he went on a night out in Soho.

Friends have slammed the suspected hate crime as an outrage and paid tribute to their "true friend".

Raymond Murrell, 29, who met Mr Cooper 11 years ago at a gay youth group in Woolwich, said he was the life and soul of the party with an infectious smile.

He said: "He would do anything for you, even if it put him out. He would always be forgiving and loving.

"For this to have happened to such a lovely human being is an outrage. David never held a grudge and never had people hating him. Not to the point that someone would want to kill him. An argument over what top to wear would be the angriest he would get.

"Whether you are gay or straight you don't deserve to have your life taken away from you."

Former Eltham Green School pupil Rebecca Giffin, 30, paid tribute to her classmate who she first met in 1991.

She said: "He was the kindest and most loveable person ever. I can't believe he has gone. He was a true friend.

"It was a pleasure to have shared so many happy moments with such a great guy. He made a huge impact on me and my two daughters, Courtney and Taylor, who now look up at night to find David, where he is a bright star."

The night before his death Mr Cooper was out with friends in several Soho bars, including Compton's, The Village and G-A-Y.

He was last seen leaving the Friendly Society at approximately 11pm.

Friends found his badly beaten body at 2pm at his home in Sir Martin Bowes House, Calderwood Street. They were too upset to talk at the time of going to press.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as head injuries.

A 16-year-old boy, of no fixed abode believed to be from the Walthamstow, was due to appear at Camberwell Green Juvenile Court yesterday charged with murder.

Three other men were also arrested in South London on the same day the body was found. Two were released with no further action and the third has been bailed to return in early December pending further enquiries.

Anyone with information can call 020 8721 4868 or to remain anonymous the Galop Shoutline on 020 7704 2040 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, call the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender officer for Greenwich on 020 8284 9864.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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