Family's heartbreaking tribute to axe attack victim who won hearts of nation in BBC Two series The Detectives

Cameron Brooksbank, then 17, stepped in to defend an elderly woman before testifying against his attacker.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A brave tree surgeon seen bringing down a violent drugs boss in a gripping BBC TV crime series has died, it has emerged.

Cameron Brooksbank, then 17, was almost killed in a "barbaric" axe attack in which his hand was almost severed with when he stepped in to defend an elderly woman.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He then testified against his attacker, high-ranking drug dealer Mohammed Awais Sajid, in court which led to him being jailed for 18 years. But the sickening attack took a devastating toll on Cameron, who was seen on the BBC Two series The Detectives weeping as he admitted he'd been left 'messed up'.

Cameron BrooksbankCameron Brooksbank
Cameron Brooksbank

At the end of the series finale on Wednesday, it was revealed that Cameron passed away earlier this year. On Thursday, it emerged he died aged 24 on June 18. An inquest into his death opened in July but has been adjourned and no date has been set for its conclusion. Greater Manchester Police have not specified how Cameron died, but have confirmed it is not being treated as suspicious.

In a moving tribute issued after the final episode aired last night, Cameron's family said his death created a 'huge and painful void' in their lives.

They said in a statement released by police: "Thank you so much for everything and the support you all continue to give us through this difficult period. We are extremely proud of Cameron’s bravery and that his personal story will hopefully help raise some much-needed awareness around this topic."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cameron was attacked in October 2017 when he intervened in a road rage incident in the Newbold Estate in Rochdale, where he was working. He and his workmates came across gangster Habibur Rahman launching a furious tirade at a woman sat in a stationary Citroen.

A trial heard Rahman felt "disrespected" and assembled 20 men for a revenge attack and Sajid almost chopped off Cameron's hand. Cameron had to have his hand surgically reattached following the attack but refused to bow to pressure from Sajid and his henchman and twice gave evidence in court.

Cameron BrooksbankCameron Brooksbank
Cameron Brooksbank

His bravery was captured in the BBC's fly-on-the-wall series which followed GMP's efforts to bring down an organised crime gang (OCG) in Rochdale.

Sajid and Rahman were members of The Adam OCG in the Newbold Estate in the town, where Cameron was working on the day of the attack. The attack prompted further police efforts to dismantle the gang and a second key witness came forward to finger Sajid as the attacker. Sajid was jailed for 18 years after being convicted of Section 18 wounding at a retrial and his conviction helped to bring down bosses of the OCG.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cameron's story touched the hearts of TV viewers, who took to social media to praise his bravery.

His family said in a statement: "We’d also like to thank the public for all the many kind words and praise for our special son and grandson, Cameron whose passing has created such a huge and painful void in our lives.

"We have been supported throughout by officers and programme makers Lou and Ben from Minnow Films, regardless of the successes in the courtroom they have carried us throughout this tragic and frightening journey. We will remain eternally grateful for the rest of our lives."