Son of Ilford stab victim to appeal court verdict after lodger acquitted of murder

Florin Onea, of Hickling Road, Ilford, left, with son Arnold

Florin Onea, of Hickling Road, Ilford, left, with son Arnold - Credit: Archant

The “shocked” son of a man who was knifed in the heart plans to launch an appeal against a court verdict after his killer was cleared of murder.

Arnold Onea, 26, said he was “very concerned” about the two-week trial of his dad’s lodger Marcel Crihan, 34, from Ilford, who was acquitted of murder and manslaughter on Tuesday.

The comments come after Mr Crihan told jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court he was acting in self-defence when he stabbed 49-year-old Florin Onea at the home they shared in Hickling Road after a fight broke out following a vodka binge.

“I’m not happy at all, it’s just unbelievable,” said Mr Onea, from Port Solent, Portsmouth.

“I’m still in shock, I can’t sleep – it’s horrible – he was my dad, my brother and my best friend, all in one – he wasn’t even 50 yet.

“I know my dad – he would never go further than slaps. My father is a strong man, but he wouldn’t kill him.”

Mr Onea said he was concerned that Mr Crihan’s partner and other lodgers at the house did not give evidence.

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“I think it’s just wrong,” he said, before adding: “You can’t just let the man walk away – I can’t accept that, I don’t get it.

“I will do anything, I will start a campaign because I’m still fighting for justice for my dad.”

On the night of the killing Mr Crihan said he was “feeling tipsy” when Mr Onea suddenly lunged at him.

“He came towards me,” said Mr Crihan while giving evidence.

“I stood up all ready and he started to tell me to leave the house – everybody to get out of his house – probably because of the discussion I had with him before, about money probably.

“I answered him something he did not like but I do not know precisely the reason.”

He said he was slapped a number of times around the face and then shoved to the floor before he and his partner rushed to pack their bags.

But Mr Onea pursued him to the kitchen where, he said, he was forced to defend himself with a kitchen knife.

Mr Crihan denied murder and manslaughter and was acquitted on both counts.

Read more from the trial here.