Hornchurch pub murder: ‘Gentle giant’ stabbed while protecting someone, say family
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A 60-year-old man who was murdered in a Hornchurch pub was killed while protecting someone involved in an altercation, his family believe.
Aiden O’Mahoney, known to friends as Oggy, was watching his beloved Tottenham Hotspur play Leicester City in JJ Moon’s Wetherspoons, High Street on Sunday when he was fatally stabbed.
Speaking to the Recorder, his step-daughter, Louise Tonks, spoke of the family’s devastation.
“This act has torn the family apart,” she said. “He was a gentle giant who was well known and respected, especially in Cranham and Hornchurch.”
She added: “We are not too sure about the full story but have been told Oggy was trying to protect someone from an earlier altercation in the pub, which would have been his nature. He wasn’t a violent man but would help anyone.”
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Police were called at 4.30pm, and Oggy was taken to hospital, where he died at 7.14pm.
He leaves behind a partner of 30 years, who he lived with in Cranham, as well as two step-daughters and five step-grandchildren. Louise has set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.
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Detectives are still searching for the killer, who they believe went to a chicken shop in Elm Park after fleeing the scene.
Witnesses described seeing customers barricade the door of the pub shut as a man outside punched through the glass and shouted.
A staff member at the International Supermarket opposite JJ Moon’s told the Recorder: “This man was outside and he punched the window and was shouting ‘come outside and fight you old ****’. Everyone was trying to shut him out the pub by holding the door. I just thought there had been a fight.
“Then he put his jumper over his head and walked off down Abbs Cross Gardens. He looked about 20-30.”
Forensics were yesterday combing Favorite Chicken and Ribs, St Nicholas Avenue, Elm Park, and Abbs Cross Gardens for evidence and are viewing CCTV from the pub and the takeaway.
A Wetherspoon spokesman said staff and customers were deeply shocked by the incident.
He said: “We pass on our sympathy to the friends and family of the victim. We also praise staff and customers who tried to help the victim before the paramedics arrived.
“We have passed on the CCTV to the police and will assist them in any way we can during their investigation.”
A resident who lives in High Street near JJ Moon’s said he was shocked something like this had happened at such a friendly pub.
“Considering you get people drinking in there from 9am you don’t get much trouble,” he said “You get the odd shouting but that’s it.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information should call police on 101. To remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
To donate to Oggy’s fund, click here.