Ilford man bottled and fatally stabbed boss during ‘bare-chested’ fight, court hears

Hickling Road, Ilford. Picture: Ajay Nair

Hickling Road, Ilford. Picture: Ajay Nair - Credit: Archant

A man was fatally stabbed with a kitchen knife after being attacked with a vodka bottle during a “bare-chested” fight with his lodger, a court heard this afternoon.

Marcel Crihan, 34, of Hickling Road, Ilford, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court, accused of murdering Florin Onea, 49, of the same address, following an incident on Saturday, October 17, last year.

Peter Finnigan, prosecuting, said Mr Crihan, who worked at Mr Onea’s removal business, had been “drinking heavily” with his boss in the garden after an evening meal – they consumed two bottles of Absolut Vodka and some beer.

The court heard the defendant, who lived in an annexe at the back of Mr Onea’s garden, told police that they got into an argument “probably about money”.

Mr Finnigan said: “It started with pushing and then the defendant picked up a bottle, smashed it and started waving it.”

Mr Onea’s wife and Mr Crihan’s partner intervened but both sustained minor injuries. Mr Crihan’s partner’s false front teeth fell out as a result.

Mr Finnigan told the court that Mr Crihan told police he hit Mr Onea on the head with the vodka bottle after locking himself in the kitchen.

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He told police he “picked up the knife from [a] knife block and said he used it only to keep Florin at a safe distance” and that the victim “walked into it [the knife]”.

Mr Finnigan added: “He [Mr Crihan] said that he believed Florin was going to kill him – he said he was a big strong man.”

Officers arrived at 9.45pm after Mr Onea’s wife phoned her stepson in Portsmouth to alert police.

Mr Finnigan said the first officer at scene saw the men fighting with chairs.

“He could see into the hallway, he saw the two men fighting – they were bare-chested, each one had a chair, they were facing off,” he said.

“Florin had blood pouring from the centre of his chest and he also had a large wound to his forehead.”

The jurors heard that Mr Crihan had cuts from the bottle and grazes above his left eye and back but did not sustain any serious injuries.

Mr Crihan denies the charges. The trial continues.