Shrek, victim of a crushing tragedy, demands justice

Partner of a victim of the O2 Brixton Academy tragedy said someone should be held accountable for the deaths.

Two people were killed when fans without tickets tried to storm a performance by Nigerian artist Asake at a venue in south London on December 15.

Gabby Hutchinson’s partner Phoebe Turley, pictured with Gabby, has called for justice and someone to be held accountable for the deaths of two people at the O2 Brixton Academy. Photo: PA/Family Bulletin

Gabe Hutchinson, of Gravesend, was one of them. They were serving as a dog security trainer at the event with a three-year-old German Shepherd named Coco.

The 23-year-old’s partner, Phoebe Turley, 25, said there should be justice for the victims: “Things like this should never have happened.

“Every action has a reaction and that result comes from people showing up without tickets or trying to break through the door.

“For what? What purpose did that serve? Because now you have killed innocents.”

Mother-of-two, Rebecca Icomelo, 33, was the other dead, while the third victim remains in hospital in critical condition.

Gabe Hutchinson was working as one of the contract security providers for the event at Brixton Academy
Gabe Hutchinson was working as one of the contract security providers for the event at Brixton Academy

They didn’t deserve it,” said Phoebe, who earlier this week set up a fundraising page for Gabby’s family. “Justice must be done and someone responsible for what happened must be found.”

“Not just for Gabe, but for Rebecca, too.”

On Thursday, Lambeth Council suspended the venue’s licence, and will carry out an inquest into the accidents and deaths to date.

The couple had been dating for three years after meeting through mutual friends and Phoebe described her partner as “the nicest person I’ve ever known”.

“Gabby would literally do anything for anyone at the drop of a hat,” she told PA.

Pheobie Turley with Gaby Hutchinson, who died of their injuries after being crushed at the O2 Brixton Academy.  Photo: PA/Family Bulletin
Pheobie Turley with Gaby Hutchinson, who died of their injuries after being crushed at the O2 Brixton Academy. Photo: PA/Family Bulletin

“Gabe would give you the shirt off his back if someone else needed it. Gabe was like that our whole relationship. He did everything for me from the moment we met.”

Phoebe said she realized something was wrong when her partner stopped responding to her messages.

“The last thing Gabby said to me was, ‘I’ll wake you up when I’m home,'” she said.

“I just had this gut feeling the whole time that something wasn’t right.”

She described receiving a phone call from Gaby’s manager, saying she needed to get to St Thomas Hospital in London.

Gabe Hutchinson has died of his injuries after being crushed at the O2 Academy Brixton.  Photo: PA/Family Bulletin (61540012)
Gabe Hutchinson has died of his injuries after being crushed at the O2 Academy Brixton. Photo: PA/Family Bulletin (61540012)

She said: I said: What happened?

No one was aware of the situation at that point. He obviously got a little bit of a tip since he wasn’t at the event. And then we all got to St. Thomas as fast as we could.”

Gabe died after four days in hospital in the early hours of Monday.

Ms Turley said: “I have to keep reminding people that Gabby was not at the concert.

“They didn’t go to cause trouble. They went there specifically to do their job and keep people safe. And that one thing that gives me comfort is that they saved some people that night whether they lost their lives or not.

Police officers at the scene outside the O2 Academy Brixton.  Photo: PA
Police officers at the scene outside the O2 Academy Brixton. Photo: PA

“They saved other people in the process. And their dog.”

Phoebie and a family friend have created two crowdfunding pages to help pay for the funeral.

She said: “Obviously we’re only young, so we don’t have a lot of money.

“We didn’t have life insurance and stuff because obviously that never happened in our books. Jabs deserves the best goodbye.”

To date, more than £5,000 has been raised across the page.

They didn’t go out to cause trouble. They specifically went there to do their job and keep people safe.

“People have been so generous,” said Phoebe. “There was a security company who generously donated £1,000. I think that affected a lot of people in this sector.”

Gaby’s employer allowed his family and Phoebie to keep Coco.

She added, “Gabe’s boss gave Coco to me and his family to make it a little easier for us because Coco is the last thing we got from Gabe right now.”

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