HE was just a teenager, he was somebody's son and his killer must be brought to justice.

Those were the words of the detective leading the hunt for the murderer of a Southampton youngster.

Det Chief Insp Tony Harris today spoke out as he prepared to appeal for information in the heart of the community where Mikhail Thomas was stabbed to death.

Officers will tonight revisit the scene of the 18-year-old's fatal stabbing in the Newtown area of the city exactly one week after he was killed.

They will urge people not to protect his killer by handing out leaflets and publicising a confidential hotline.

Few people have so far come forward to help murder squad detectives in their inquiries.

Police are convinced someone must have witnessed an argument between Mikhail and his killer that ended in the teenager being stabbed through the heart.

Despite a friend driving him to the nearby Royal South Hants Hospital where paramedics tried to save his life, Mikhail died from the single stab wound.

Det Chief Insp Tony Harris said his team of 30 detectives were committed to finding his killer no matter what the circumstances surrounding the death of Mikhail, who grew up in Jamaica and came to Southampton four years ago.

He said: "Mikhail was just a teenager, he was somebody's son and his killer must be brought to justice. We want the people living in the area to be reassured that we are committed to investigating this murder the same way we would do if it happened in any other part of Hampshire."

Police believe witnesses have been reluctant to come forward because of not wanting to contact the police.

"We will be very sympathetic to anyone's personal circumstances, all we are interested in this murder inquiry. Anyone who speaks to us will do so in complete confidence," added Det Chief Insp Harris.

Detectives know that Mikhail visited several addresses in St Mary's before he arranged to meet up with a man at the junction of Derby Road and Cranbury Avenue about 11pm last Wednesday. It was there that he was stabbed.

"We are sure that there were people near to the scene of the murder and probably saw who was involved and can identify them even if it is just by a nickname, we need them to come forward," said Det Chief Insp Harris.

Detectives were due to be in the Derby Road area tonight giving out appeal leaflets in seven different languages.

Anyone with information can contact the major incident room at Hulse Road on 0845 045 4545 quoting Operation Holbrook or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.