CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Market traders pay tribute to man whose body was dumped in a bin

'There was always a smile on his face and he had the desire to do so many things, both far away and at home'

25 May, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

Greta Dispenza with Eirk San-Filippo

FRIENDS and colleagues have paid tribute to their “funny” and “happy” friend whose dead body was found dumped in a wheelie bin outside an abandoned house.

Camden Market traders said they were shocked when they heard that Erik San-Filippo had been found dead in a bin in Holloway. The 23-year-old was a familiar face in the famous market after working at a restaurant there for about a year.

Vendors told the New Journal that Mr San-Filippo would always say hello to them when he walked round and he would offer them a beer at the end of the day.

Mety, who did not want us to use his surname, worked with Mr San-Filippo in the market. “When I heard he was dead I had to take two days off. He was my best friend here in the market,” he said. “We worked shoulder to shoulder for months. He was very funny. He wasn’t great at English, but he would use a lot of body language. He’d use his face and his hands, Italian-style.”

Mety added: “He was always laughing, making jokes. Every day he was happy – happy with the customers and happy with everyone he worked with.”

Mr San-Filippo loved music and he would play old Italian marching songs in the morning and house music at night, his friend said.

The pair had planned to go clubbing the day he died. Tiago Costa, who has worked in the Bubble Waffle stalls for nine years, said: “He would always come round and say hi. Almost everyone in the market does. We all try to look after each other.”

Mr San-Filippo was found in Tollington Road on May 11. It took the police almost a week to formally identify him.

Police tape off Tollington Road

A postmortem proved inconclusive and the police await further tests.

Gerardo Rossi, 52, of Tollington Road, was arrested on Thursday, May 16 and charged on the same day with preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.

Mr San-Filippo’s mother Carmen De Caro and sister Denise were flown over from Italy last week to see the body.

Greta Dispenza, who was one of Mr San-Filippo’s closest friends in Italy, said: “Erik is a friend who changes your life, he never saw the negative side in things. He always helped you with anything and every time you saw him it was like Christmas. There was always a smile on his face and he had the desire to do so many things, both far away and at home. “Everybody should have the chance to have a friend like him, because he knew what friendship really meant.”

Simone Bachini, a TV journalist covering the Tuscany area where Mr San-Filippo came from, said: “He was everyone’s child, he had a great desire to live.”

Andy Hull, a cabinet councillor in neighbouring Islington, said: “Police and medical investigations in this case are ongoing, so I can’t say much about the circumstances of this poor man’s death. What I can say is that it is deeply depressing that anyone should dump the dead body of a fellow human being in a rubbish bin.”

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