United Kingdom

Murder accused carried knife 'to look cool and feel dangerous'

Allan Isichei, 69, pictured, was stabbed to death as we was walking home from the pub in August last year

A killer who stabbed a retired rugby player to death in a spitting row said he 'had a knife to look cool and feel dangerous,' a court heard today.

Gurjeet Lall, 36, is accused of the murder of former Wasps player Allan Isichei, 69, as he walked home from his local pub a sunny Bank Holiday weekend in August last year.

Members of Mr Isichei's family wept in the public gallery as evidence from the murder trial was summarised to jurors at Inner London Crown Court today.

The hearing was delayed last week when it emerged a juror may have contracted Coronavirus and the court waited for Covid test results.

Mr Isichei, who was a prop forward in the 1970s and 1980s, had been enjoying a bottle of beer in the garden of his local after mowing the lawn at his home just 150 metres away, jurors were told.

The court heard the pair got into the fatal fight after Mr Isichei challenged Lall about spitting on the pavement near his home in Southall, west London.

They fought on the ground, with Mr Isichei emerging from the scrap with fatal stab wounds, jurors heard.

The court heard he suffered from schizophrenia and extreme paranoia, which he denies, and his condition was described as aggressive, torturous and lacking control.

The former Wasps prop forward, pictured, had enjoyed a bottle of beer in the pub's beer garden before returning to his Southall home, a short distance away

Gurjit Lall, 36, denies Mr Isichei's murder and claims he was carrying a knife on the day as he wanted to 'look cool and feel dangerous'

Speaking with one doctor, Lall said: 'I had a knife to look cool and feel dangerous.

'I was not paranoid, I just had a habit of carrying it around.'

In reports from another psychiatric doctor, he said: 'I could not understand why I was being told off by Mr Isichei because there was already rubbish on the road.'

He added: 'I remember I tried to punch him and he tried to restrain me. That is when I took out the kitchen knife.

'I never stabbed him, I do not remember what happened. I told him to 'f*** off' and to move as I thought there was some kind of threat.

Mr Isichei, pictured, suffered a number of stab wounds in the torso and head and also had a number of defensive stab wounds on his hands

'There was a sharp pain in my hip. I remember there was a lot of blood. It was pouring onto me and I realised he had been stabbed.'

Mr Isichei was stabbed in the torso and head and had a number of 'defensive' wounds on his hands.

The married father of three, and grandfather to five, was pronounced dead inside an ambulance at the scene despite the efforts of neighbours and paramedics.

Summarising then remaining evidence from Lall's trial today, Judge Usha Karu said: 'You will see that the defendant is not here. He is not attending today.

'He is in the psychiatric ward of the John Howard Centre.'

The jury were sent to consider their verdict this morning as Mr Isichei's family watched on from the public gallery.

When Lall was arrested at his home, just yards from where the attack happened, officers found several boxes of unused schizophrenia medication and dozens of 'offensive' texts on his phone which prosecutors said showed he had mental health issues.

Lall denies murder and claims he was acting in self-defence.

The trial continues.

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