Plaistow pub murder accused ‘shouted someone’s going to die’, court hears

At a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Destiny Bannerman pleaded guilty to assisting an

At a virtual hearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Destiny Bannerman pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. Picture: Shutterstock - Credit: shutterstock

A man who was stabbed in the build-up to a pub brawl that ended in another man’s death told a court today that one of the accused shouted “someone’s going to die tonight” before knifing him.

Bernard McDonagh was drinking in the Army Navy Public House in New Barn Street, Plaistow in the early hours of March 19 when Edward Stokes, 29, was stabbed and later died.

Mr McDonagh told a jury at the Old Bailey he was knifed himself – near his armpit, on the left side of his back, above his hip and near his kidney – by Reece Hussain, 22, of Barclay Road in Plaistow, who threatened to “stab someone” during a standoff beforehand.

Hussain is accused of murdering Mr Stokes alongside George Forde, 22, also of Barclay Road. Both men deny the charge, as well as charges of GBH and possession of an offensive weapon..

The court heard how Mr McDonagh had been in a fight earlier that night – in the same pub – with a different man because of an old feud.

Mr McDonagh said he punched the man, Billy Williams, inside of the pub before walking to the smoking area.

He then said Hussain followed and joined others in shouting at him.

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“He said, ‘Someone’s going to die tonight’ or that he was going to ‘stab someone’,” Mr McDonagh said.

Mr McDonagh, who said he was unaware of the location of Mr Stokes and does not remember Forde “doing anything much”, claims he and Hussain “ran into each other” and began fighting.

“I assumed it was a fistfight,” he said. “I didn’t know he had a knife at that stage.”

But Terry Munyard, representing Hussain, said Mr McDonagh and members of his family – his son Darren McDonagh and brothers Steven and Edward McDonagh - refused to let Hussain leave the pub in the build up to the stabbing.

“You go over to Reece and his friend, don’t you?” Mr Munyard said. “And they don’t say anything to you.

“You all cling onto him because you want to keep him outside, but he seems determined to stay inside.”

He added: “You get stabbed because you have been beating him.”

The events which led to the death of Edward Stokes occurred later in the morning.

The trial continues.