14/01/2013 02:17 GMT

Birmingham Big Issue Stabbings: Man Charged With Murders Of Wayne Busst And Ian Gladwish

A 23-year-old man was charged on Sunday with the murder of two Big Issue sellers who were fatally stabbed in Birmingham city centre.

Wayne Busst, 32, and Ian Watson-Gladwish, 31, were found stabbed in a busy shopping street in just before 6pm on Friday night.

The 23-year-old man will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Monday, West Midlands Police said.

Ian Watson Gladwish

West Midlands Police, who have today released pictures of the two men, believe the attacker was known to his victims and that it was not a random attack.

One of the men was found outside the Sainsbury's store in Martineau Place while the second was found slumped yards away near Boots in Union Street.

Both had suffered stab wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.

West Midlands Police said hundreds of people may have witnessed the stabbings.

Detective Inspector Buck Rogers, who is leading the investigation into the deaths, said: "We have had a fantastic response from the public so far and their information has proved vital to our investigation.

Wayne Lee Busst

"Early inquiries suggest that this wasn't random. The attacker appears to have known his victims.

"Our inquiries 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."

Founder of The Big Issue magazine John Bird has condemned the double killing as "utterly senseless".

In a statement issued on Saturday, Mr Bird said: "Myself and everyone at The Big Issue have been deeply saddened to hear the tragic news that two of our well-liked Birmingham-based vendors were stabbed to death in the city centre yesterday evening.

"We are struggling to make any sense of this utterly senseless attack, and our sincerest condolences go out to the families of the victims.

"This awful crime, perpetrated against two hard-working, mild-mannered men only serves to illustrate the extreme vulnerability of people who live and work on the streets, which is why we at The Big Issue are constantly striving to create opportunities which will help our vendors to get off the streets and out of harm's way.

"We are truly devastated that these two individuals have been deprived of just such a future."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is urged to contact the police on 101.