"he was the victim of someone who chose to carry a knife."
Gurjeet Singh Lall, aged 36, of Southall, has been convicted of manslaughter following a fatal stabbing.
He attacked 69-year-old Allan Isichei after the pair became involved in a brief verbal row over Lall spitting in the street.
Allan was an influential member of the Wasps rugby team, as a player in the 1970s and 80s and then later on as a coach.
On August 24, 2019, Allan arrived at The Plough pub in Tentelow Lane just before 6 pm. He left around half an hour later.
As he walked towards his home, Allan encountered Lall who was leaning against a wall. The pair got into a row over Lall spitting in the street.
Words were exchanged and as Allan walked away, Lall spat again. This prompted Allan to turn around and place his tablet on the roof of a nearby car.
As further words were exchanged, Lall produced a knife and stabbed Allan several times during a struggle in which Allan managed to disarm him.
After the stabbing, Allan apparently did not realise the extent of his injuries. He got up and walked down the street before stopping. He then staggered to a neighbour’s address and rang the doorbell, pleading for help.
Police and paramedics were called immediately and arrived minutes later. Allan was treated at the scene before being placed into an ambulance.
However, his condition deteriorated. Paramedics battled to save his life but he was pronounced dead at 7:56 pm that evening.
Lall was traced to his home after police followed a blood trail from injuries he sustained in the stabbing incident. He was initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
After it was known that Allan had passed away, Lall was arrested on suspicion of murder.
A post-mortem revealed that Allan had suffered multiple stab wounds. A cause of death was given as an incised wound to the abdomen.
Lall was released from hospital on August 29 into police custody. During interview, he claimed that he had been acting in self-defence. He was later charged with murder.
Lall’s mental health was reviewed and it was determined that he was fit to stand trial. On October 26, 2020, he was convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at Inner London Crown Court.
In a statement, Allan’s family said: “We have suffered from the tragic loss of our father, who was kind, generous and inspirational man to many.
“To see him described by his assailant as an aggressor just isn’t who he was. He spent his time putting others before himself and the graphic camera footage shown in court clearly shows he was the victim of someone who chose to carry a knife.
“Why was a person with a history of carrying knives, who was only arrested while carrying one in January 2019, allowed to be back out on the streets unsupervised to carry out this senseless killing.
“As always the voice of the victim is not heard, we can no longer ask him as he has been cruelly taken away from us. A pain we feel every day.”
Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson said: “It beggars belief that a man could go to his local pub for a quick drink on a Saturday evening and not return home, but that is the terrible reality that Allan’s family have been left with.
“Allan was a creative and constructive man, living a full and active life through his sport and music.”
“His loss is immeasurable and is, of course, most felt by his loving family, who still grieve for him and will do so for a very long time to come.
“There was no good reason for Lall to have had a knife in his possession that day, and no good reason for him to use it.
“I am glad that he has been convicted and the jury rejected his claim that he was acting in self-defence.”
Lall will be sentenced on December 14, 2020.