Regret of man on murder trial after East Ham assault

A man accused of killing a father-of-four for his �mobile phone told a court he regretted punching the victim for allegedly insulting his mother.

Giovanni Castro, 20, claimed Sellathurai Easwaran, 40, muttered something as he left a 24-hour shop in East Ham,

He said: “He said something about my mother.”

He added: “I was angry with what he said about my mum. It wasn’t a hard punch.”

Mr Easwaran fell to the ground and was kicked by Daniel Torres, 19, and Christian Bustillos, 23, as he lay defenceless, it is claimed.

Castro admitted that he picked up a phone from the ground but denied taking it from the victim’s pocket.

Mr Easwaran was taken to hospital but was allowed to leave a few hours later when doctors failed to spot fractures to his jaw and the base of his skull.

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He was found dead in his bed by his wife the following day, November 7 last year.

The Old Bailey heard �Castro had a conviction for a robbery opposite the same foodstore at Barking Road, East Ham, two years earlier.

CCTV cameras allegedly recorded him ‘‘frisking’’ Mr Easwaran before the incident.

Castro said that he asked the victim for change ‘‘as a joke’’.

He added: ‘‘He was giving me dirty looks. That’s when he said something about my mum.’’

Crispin Aylett, prosecuting, asked: “Don’t you think you were being oversensitive?”

Castro replied: “I regret what I did.”S

Castro, of Keppel Road, East Ham, Torres, of Percy Road, Canning Town, and Bustillos, of Khartoum Road, Plaistow, all deny murder and robbery.

The trial continues.