"He was irritated, angry, had drunk and had a knife on him."
Gurjeet Lall, aged 36, of Southall, was detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital for killing a former Wasps rugby player who complained about him spitting in the street.
Lall, who is a schizophrenic, repeatedly stabbed Allan Isichei, aged 69, while in a state of “acute psychosis” after failing to take his medication for 20 months.
The pair had argued over Lall spitting on the pavement. He then stabbed the victim in the stomach with a large kitchen knife.
Lall told jurors he carried the knife “to look cool and feel dangerous”.
However, he refused to attend the sentencing hearing due to “anxiety” and is still refusing to take any anti-psychotic medication at the psychiatric unit where he is being held.
On August 24, 2019, Mr Isichei had gone for a beer at The Plough Inn in Southall.
Mr Isichei, who played for Wasps rugby club in the 1970s and 1980s, walked past Lall outside who spat on the pavement.
Lall then spat again which caused an argument. Lall then drew an 11cm-long knife and repeatedly stabbed Mr Isichei.
An ambulance was forced to stop on the way to the hospital because the victim’s condition was critical.
An air ambulance arrived and a thoracotomy was performed on the victim’s chest but he died an hour and a half later.
Police followed a blood trail from the scene back to Lall’s address. He told police that he was acting in self-defence.
Lall claimed the former Wasps prop forward was accidentally killed when he “lunged” and fell on to the knife. Lall also said he punched Mr Isichei with his empty hand and the knife only went into his stomach when the ex-Wasps player fell on top of him.
He claimed the victim had threatened him. In court, Lall alleged that the ex-Wasps player had called him a “p***”, something he never mentioned to police.
Anthony Orchard QC, prosecuting, said: “He was irritated, angry, had drunk and had a knife on him. He was told off and then he uses a knife he kills somebody.
“Lall has previous convictions for carrying kitchen knives twice in 2014 and 2019 and has also a history of domestic abuse against his mother.
“He has 12 years of documented mental illness but he claimed he stopped taking his medication two years ago to ‘get a job’.”
The court heard that Lall stopped taking medication in October 2018 after being transferred from a community mental health team to his GP.
Lall was previously jailed for four months in 2018 after being caught with a knife at the bus station at Heathrow Airport “to ward people off” just six months before the killing.
Lall was cleared of murder but was convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
Siobhan Grey QC, for Lall, said: “He had been under a community treatment order, he was sent back to his GP.
“He went from depot injection to oral tablet form then had a sudden relapse, Dr Lock accepted that carrying a knife is an indicator of that.
“He was released in 2018, he was texting himself which is a sign of the psychosis, there was a clear deterioration in his mental state.”
Lall was detained in a psychiatric hospital “without limit of time” under the Mental Health Act.
Judge Usha Karu said: “I am satisfied that on all the evidence there is a significant risk of harm and that he is dangerous.
“So far he has expressed the view that he does not wish to take medication, the defendant had not attended court today, at present antipsychotic treatment has not commenced.
“There is a risk of further psychotic episodes, particularly if he fails to take further antipsychotic medication, it is not clear when a serious risk of psychotic harm would be reduced.”
In a joint victim personal statement, Emma, Daniel and David Isichei wrote:
“We have suffered from the tragic loss of our father, who was a kind, generous, and an 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 everyday.
“We believe something must be done, we want to see some sort of positive come out of this.
“Authorities must answer the questions around why someone with a history of mental illness, was arrested in January for carrying a knife and was released in April with no follow up on whether they were taking the medication that could have made a difference.”
Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson of the Met’s Specialist Crime 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.”