Three deny murder of Manor Park father-of-four

Three robbers killed a father-of-four outside a shop for his mobile phone, a court heard last week.

The men targeted 40-year-old Sellathurai Easwaran, of St Winefride’s Avenue, Manor Park, as he left the store after buying beer in the early hours.

CCTV cameras showed Giovanni Castro, 20, punching him to the ground and Daniel Torres, 19, and Christian Bustillos, 23, kicking him as he lay defenceless.

The victim was taken to Newham General 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. He was found dead in his bed by his wife the following day, jurors were told.

Detectives were able to trace Castro because he had given the shopkeeper his number to pass on to his daughter.

When he was arrested, he told officers: “I didn’t mean to kill him.”

The investigation found Castro had given the victim’s mobile phone to a friend.

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Castro also has a previous conviction for a robbery opposite the same Akgul Foodstore in Barking Road, East Ham, two years earlier.

Jurors were told Bustillos also has two convictions for robbery dating back to 2005 when he was 17.

All three men are now on trial at the Old Bailey for murder and robbery.

The court heard Mr Easwaran was seen on CCTV walking drunkenly along the middle of the road towards the shop at 2am on November 6 last year.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett said: “You may think it makes him a soft target for anyone who is interested in robbing him.”

Castro and his friends had been outside the Akgul Foodstore for nearly two hours by the time Easwaran arrived. CCTV footage appears to show Castro “frisking” the victim and the pair exchanging words.

Mr Easwaran went to buy alcohol and was then escorted out by the shopkeeper. He was then attacked, it is alleged.

After his arrest Castro said he punched the victim because he had insulted his mother.

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.