George Downing Estate: Witness describes ‘pandemonium’ after man, 26, stabbed to death in kid’s playground

PUBLISHED: 21:48 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 30 January 2018

The victim was stabbed in the playground at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

The victim was stabbed in the playground at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A man has described the “pandemonium” that erupted after a 26-year-old man was knifed to death in a playground on the George Downing Estate last night.

Police tape off the crime scene at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly HancockPolice tape off the crime scene at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

The man who lives on the estate off Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington, told the Gazette he heard shouting and screaming outside at 11.30pm.

He looked out and saw the victim lying face down in the children’s playground outside.

“People were over him doing resuscitation, and people were coming out of other flats with towels. Most of them were in their dressing gowns. It was a bit scary,” he said.

“A lot of younger people were running up and down. There were about 10 to 15 of them on their phones, and some of them were calling police and being quite abusive, saying, ‘Why is this taking so long?’

The victim was stabbed in the playground at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly HancockThe victim was stabbed in the playground at the George Downing Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

He continued: “There was a lady from the other block who was pumping his chest then a lady came out of the tower and she started helping too. They were saying, “He’s not breathing. He’s bleeding.”

“Then the police car turned up. It was something like out of a movie. They screeched in and jumped out and asked people to move away, and they did first aid. Then more police cars and paramedics and the ambulance turned up. It was quite horrible really.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen on your doorstep.”

The man, who did not wish to be named, said residents had signed a petition to remove the benches by the playground because so many people hang out there.

“During the summer it’s horrible down there,” he said.

“They play football at the basketball court until two in the morning. It’s so noisy.

“I’ve seen a lot of drug deals down there,” he added. It’s been going on for years to be honest.”

The victim had been knifed multiple times and was taken to hospital where he died an hour later. His next of kin have been told.

No arrests have been made and the estate was taped off today while officers from the homicide and major crime command investigated. Extra officers are patrolling tonight and police have brought in enhanced stop and search powers across the borough.

Det Ch Insp Gary Holmes, who is leading the investigation, said: “At this early stage we retain an open mind as to motive and several lines of inquiry are ongoing.

“I am appealing to anyone who was in the area of the George Downing Estate around the time of the incident to come forward, even if the information you have seems insignificant, as this may prove vital in piecing the events of this incident together.”

It is the second fatal stabbing this month in Stoke Newington.

Daniel Frederick, 34, was killed yards from his home in Shakspeare Walk on the Milton Gardens Estate on January 8.

Anyone with information about last night’s stabbing can contact police via 101, tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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