MURDER victim Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim was a “loving and caring” man who always put his family and friends first.

Distraught friends have paid tribute to the man known as Big Hass, after he was stabbed twice in York Road, Southend.

He was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital for emergency treatment, but could not be saved.

Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, who lived in Peckham, had three brothers and four sisters.

He had been a student at Westminster Kingsway College, and hoped to go to university to study business in September after taking a year’s break working for an uncle’s courier business.

Friends have hit back at suggestions he was involved in gangs or drugs and fear he was killed while trying to break up an argument.

An 18-year-old woman, from Southend, who asked not to be named, said the victim was in Southend to visit his cousins.

She added: “I honestly don’t understand what could have caused this. It wouldn’t be for something he had done. He wouldn’t be involved in it – he must just have been unlucky.

“He was the kindest person. If anyone was arguing, he would be the peacemaker. He was never angry, he would never carry a knife or weapon and he wasn’t involved in drugs. No one can say a bad thing about him.

“People have said it was gang related. He wasn’t in a gang. It may be that he was trying to stop something.”

She had been to the scene to lay flowers and said it was nice to see others had done the same.

She added: “I’d known him for four years through his cousins who live in Southend and Shoebury.

“They’ve gone to London to be with his family, who don’t know what to do. His family have said they can’t come back to Essex.”

Another friend, London recording artist Talent, said: “Hassan Ibrahim was such a loving and caring person who put nothing above his family and closest friends.

“It saddens me so much and I’m still struggling to come to terms with it all.

“I will forever cherish all the moments we shared growing up, including all those road trips around London, because some of those journeys really became the making of us.

“Right now all of my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”