The grieving families of two murdered Big Issue sellers who were stabbed to death in front of rush-hour commuters today described them as “kind and loving”.
Wayne Lee Busst, 32, and Ian Watson-Gladwish, 31, were attacked in the middle of Birmingham city centre on Friday evening just before 6pm.
The pair, both from Birmingham, suffered fatal stab wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives of the two Big Issue sellers today spoke of their loss.
I a statement issued by police, Mr Busst’s family said: “We are deeply saddened by Wayne’s death, he will be greatly missed by all his family and all that knew him.
“We also think of Ian’s family as they share in the grief at this sad time.
“The family would ask any member of the public with information that may assist the police investigation come forward.”
Mr Watson-Gladwish’s family added: “Ian was a husband, son, brother and dad. He was a kind loving person.
“To be taken away from us in these circumstances has left us all devastated, we will miss him dearly.
“We would like to thank everybody for their support during this difficult time and request that we a left to grieve in peace.
“Our sincerest condolences also go out to Wayne’s family. We hope that justice will be done.”
Other Big Issue workers hailed Mr Watson-Gladwish as a “star vendor”.
The married dad was so popular with the public that he featured in an article on top salesmen last January.
One Big Issue worker in Birmingham city centre said yesterday: “Ian was one of the star vendors.
“He was always very nice company around the office and keen to impress.
“He got on very well with the public.”
Mr Busst’s cousin, Phillip Timbrell, also revealed he was only 300 yards away from the tragic stabbing.
He said: “Wayne was someone we tried to help get on his feet for years.
“It still hasn’t sunk in that this has happened. He was such a nice lad with a kind heart, regardless of what others thought.
“It is horrible to think this happened when I was probably 300 yards away at work. It’s such a shame his life ended in such a tragic way.”
Carole Fox, operations manager at a SIFA Fireside drop-in centre visited by both men, said they were getting their lives back on track.
She said: “Quite a few of the guys knew them. I remember Wayne but not Ian.
“The fact someone hasn’t been here for a while is a positive sign, it shows they are starting to get to a better place.”
West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Buck Rogers, who is leading the investigation, added: “We’ve had a fantastic response from the public so far and their information has proved vital to our investigation.
“Our enquiries continue and if there is anyone who saw something on Friday evening and hasn’t yet come forward we urge them to call us now on 101.”
John Ward, 23, has been charged with two counts of murder. He will appear at Birmingham Crown Court today (Weds).