Estate agent Sean Boggans claims punch which killed Shaun McDermott outside Romford pub was self-defence

The Havering Oak pub: Boggans and Mr McDermott crossed paths outside while waiting for a cab

The Havering Oak pub: Boggans and Mr McDermott crossed paths outside while waiting for a cab - Credit: Archant

An estate agent who killed a stranger with a single punch outside a Romford pub claimed it was self-defence after his victim threatened to “open him up.”

Shaun McDermott died in February. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Shaun McDermott died in February. Picture: Metropolitan Police - Credit: Archant

Sean Boggans, 29, hit Shaun McDermott, 44, to the ground after a misunderstanding over cabs, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

He insisted Mr McDermott, of Benhurst Avenue, Elm Park, had been abusive to him and he thought he was going to stab him.

“When he put the threat to me I was worried for my own safety which was when I struck the blow,” said Boggans.

The court heard Boggans, of Ongar Road, Brentvvood, had been out with friends in Romford and was trying to get a cab home.


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When Mr McDermott looked over at him Boggans thought it was because he had tried to get into the victim’s cab.

“I asked if he was staring at me because the cab I was just talking to was his cab,” Boggans told the jury.

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“He replied to me ‘Who are you f***ng talking to?’

“I decided to walk towards him to see why he was so annoyed and aggressive.”

Boggans said he told Mr McDermott there was no need to talk to him in that way and he was met with further abuse.

“He said ‘if you don’t shut up I will f***ing open you up’.”

It was at that point that Boggans threw the punch, in an incident which was captured on the CCTV cameras of the Havering Oak pub, in South Street.

“He immediately fell back and banged his head and was unconscious. I went down to assist him to see if he could hear me.

“I just kept talking to him because I knew he was badly injured.

“I was in sheer panic. I didn’t want that man to fall and hit his head like that.”

A police car arrived and Boggans got a lift home with friends. He was arrested two days later.

Mr McDermott had spent the night of February 2 with sisters, Maureen and Kathy, at the nearby Wheatsheaf pub before heading home at about 1am.

Boggans denies manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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