Life sentence with minimum 23-year term for man who murdered ‘Oggy’ at Hornchurch pub

Aiden Mahoney, known to friends as Oggy, was stabbed on Sunday

Aiden Mahoney, known to friends as Oggy, was stabbed on Sunday - Credit: Archant

A man who stabbed a 60-year-old football fan to death in a Hornchurch pub has been jailed for a minimum of 23 years.

James Roberts, 32, of Ambleside Avenue, Hornchurch, was sentenced at the Old Bailey today after being convicted of murdering Aiden “Oggy” O’Mahony.

Roberts has been sentenced nearly a year to the day since he stabbed the 60-year-old railway worker in JJ Moon’s Wetherspoons pub, High Street, Hornchurch, on January 10 2016.

During the sentencing, the role of his “emotionally unstable personality disorder” in the incident which causes symptoms such as lack of control and “intense anger which may lead to violence” was discussed.

Oggy had been peacefully enjoying a drink with friends while watching Tottenham Hotspur’s third round FA Cup clash with Leicester on the day.

Roberts was also in the pub and had been drinking with his father and become irate after they got into a row – prompting the barmaid to ask him to leave.

Instead of exiting the pub, Roberts verbally abused her.

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He then stabbed Mr O’Mahony with a kitchen knife when he tried to intervene.

While searching Roberts’ home, police found a machete and a knife with a swastika symbol.

Judge Nicholas Cooke described the defendant as a “stranger to the truth”.

He said: “The instinctive reaction to reach for a knife in these circumstances speaks volumes.

“You reached for the knife in your fury.”

Referring to his personality disorder, he continued: “You are someone that knew you had that condition and took an irresponsible attitude to medication and also you drank to excess.

“Not so great that you do not take responsibility for the intention to kill but in the eyes of the jury, it was not the emotionally unstable personality disorder but the cause was rather your fury in your drunken state.”

Speaking of Oggy, the judge said: “In my mind, I am satisfied that he was at all times behaving like the gentleman that he was.”