Romford’s Dave West stabbed by son who ‘had guts to stand up to him’, court hears

The Old Bailey

The Old Bailey - Credit: Archant

A nightclub tycoon was stabbed to death by his own son, who then bragged he “had the guts to stand up to him”, a court heard.

David West senior, 70, a former barrowboy at Romford Market, was described in court as a “drunken bully” who had made millions from the booze cruise trade in Calais before moving on to own a string of venues in the West End.

He had a turbulent relationship with his son of the same name who worked for him on-and-off as his entertainment business empire began to crumble, the Old Bailey heard.

On December 12 last year, he sacked his son during a blazing row and David West Junior, 45, resolved to “go out with a bang”, jurors were told.

He allegedly downed several glasses of whisky, took a large knife from his flat on Jermyn Street, Piccadilly, and stabbed his father twice as he lay comatose in his home next door.

Afterwards, the defendant, who admits killing his father but denies murder, told police he “did a favour to a lot of people” and boasted: “I had the guts to stand up to him.”

But prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC said: “The problem was he never could stand up to him and to kill his father whilst his father was slumped at the bottom of the stairs in a drunken stupor, and thus totally defenceless, does not readily resonate with ‘having the guts to stand up to him’.”

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Before the killing, the defendant exchanged texts with his girlfriend telling her “a lot of people need sorting out and it’s going to be tonight,” adding he was “going out with a bang”.

Mr Jafferjee told jurors David West senior saw his son as someone who was no longer able to match up to the demands of the state of the business and the defendant, who was in awe of his father, felt his efforts were rarely, if ever, appreciated.

He said the defendant does not dispute killing his father but says he is guilty of manslaughter on the grounds he had “lost control” because of his father’s behaviour.