Man who stabbed ‘Oggy’ at Hornchurch pub has been convicted of murder
PUBLISHED: 15:16 23 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:16 23 December 2016
Released by police
A man who fatally stabbed a 60-year-old man in a pub after the victim tried to stop him from threatening a barmaid has been convicted of his murder following a retrial.
James Roberts, 32, of Ambleside Avenue, Hornchurch, was found guilty at the Old Bailey today of murdering Aiden “Oggy” O’Mahony, following a majority verdict.
The court heard how Oggy was peacefully enjoying a drink with friends while watching Tottenham Hotspur’s third round FA Cup clash with Leicester at JJ Moon’s Wetherspoons pub, High Street, Hornchurch, on January 10 this year.
Roberts was also in the pub with his father when an argument took place between the two of them which led to Roberts becoming aggressive before moving towards the exit.
He went towards the door but changed his mind and walked back into the pub, challenging Oggy and his friends.
Roberts, who had been asked to leave by a barmaid for his aggressive behaviour, attacked the woman, threatening her with serious violence.
Oggy challenged Roberts’ conduct towards the barmaid and when Roberts asked him to go outside, he agreed.
As soon as they both stepped outside the pub, Roberts turned around and lunged towards Oggy, stabbing him once in the chest.
After the attack, Oggy immediately collapsed to the ground where he was given emergency first aid by the pub’s customers.
Several other customers had to work together to barricade the door shut against Roberts who was trying to force his way back inside, shouting threats and smashing the pub windows.
He eventually fled the scene before the arrival of emergency services.
Police and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene but the 60-year-old later died at the Royal London Hospital shortly before 7.15pm.
A post-mortem examination held at Queen’s Hospital Mortuary on January 12 and gave cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest.
Officers who had arrived at the scene on the day of the murder spoke with several witnesses who saw the attack and those who had seen Roberts on High Street immediately following the attack.
From the description of the suspect, together with analysis of CCTV from the area, it was clear Roberts was responsible.
After a police manhunt, Roberts eventually agreed to surrender himself, attending Romford Police Station where he was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Roberts was charged with Oggy’s murder on January 13.
Det Insp Garry Moncrieff, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command which led the investigation, said: “There was no reason for Aiden to die that afternoon.
“He was doing no more than enjoying a drink with friends and watching football.
“Aiden did not know Roberts and Roberts did not know Aiden.
“Roberts was in a foul and aggressive mood and decided to just take it out on anyone who he felt crossed him.
“Aiden was being a gentleman and tried to help a member of staff who was being violently threatened by Roberts after she asked him to leave.
“Aiden’s brave intervention unfortunately cost him his life.
“Roberts’ violent behaviour was totally unnecessary and in the immediate aftermath of the murder he did not hand himself in, instead he used the intervening period to dispose of the knife he used to kill Aiden and the clothes he had worn that day.
“Following Roberts’ conviction my first thoughts lie with Aiden’s family at what must be a very difficult time.
“I hope that they will at some point be able to move forward from this tragic event.”
Roberts will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on January 6 2017.
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