Man accused of stabbing Aiden O’Mahony in Hornchurch pub tells court “I wasn’t myself that day”
- Credit: Archant
A pubgoer accused of stabbing a man to death after he was told not to abuse a barmaid has said he had only been trying to scare the victim.
James Roberts, 31, of Ambleside Avenue, Elm Park, has denied murdering Spurs fan Aiden O’Mahony at JJ Moon’s Wetherspoon pub, High Street, Hornchurch, on Sunday January 10, this year.
Roberts did admit jabbing a knife at 60-year-old Mr O’Mahony, known to friends as Oggy, at the Old Bailey today (Tues).
But he claimed he was only trying to “scare” Mr O’Mahony and deter any attack.
He said: “I thought I caught him in the shoulder. I didn’t think it was serious.
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“At the time I thought everyone was having a go at me. I acted terribly.
“I wasn’t myself that day. As soon as I found out I was in trouble I handed myself in.”
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Mr O’Mahony had been watching Tottenham Hotspur’s third round FA Cup clash with Leicester at the time of the attack.
The court heard last week that Roberts argued with his father and then held a knife to the cheek of a barmaid and told her “I am going to stick this up you”.
Mr O’Mahony intervened and told him “You don’t treat a lady like that” to which Roberts is said to have replied “Come on then I will have the lot of you outside”.
CCTV cameras recorded Roberts walking to the door followed by his father and Mr O’Mahony.
Roberts told the court that he turned and held the knife out to try and deter the victim and others in the pub.
He said he did not see Mr O’Majony fall to the ground before walking off.
Roberts returned later and tried to barge back through the main doors, while threatening to stab others in the pub, witnesses have said.
But he told the court he was trying to get back in because he feared his father would be beaten up.
“I agree I was enraged but I was never going to stab more people,” he said.
Roberts admitted that CCTV from a chicken takeaway showed him chatting to a group of children and showing them his bloodied hands.
Prosecutor David Jeremy QC suggested to Roberts he had been “bigging yourself up” following the attack.
But Roberts replied: “I think I was probably giving them a story. I didn’t think I had killed someone. I wouldn’t have been hanging about.”
The trial continues