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.

Related articles

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:26

Middlesex’s James Harris grabbed five wickets on day one of his side’s County Championship match at Wantage Road as Northants ended on 332-8.

Yesterday, 16:02

Middlesex toiled in the afternoon session on day one of their County Championship match against Northants after Ricardo Vasconcelos hit an unbeaten century at Wantage Road.

Middlesex’s talented 19-year-old bowler – and former North Middlesex paceman – Ethan Bamber made his first class debut against Northants on Sunday during day one of their County Championship clash. Read Layth Yousif’s morning session report from Wantage Road on Sunday.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking after Chelsea beat the Gunners 3-2 in a frenetic London derby. Read on to learn waht he said about Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference – and much more.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has said his side made it ‘too easy’ for Chelsea during the Gunners 3-2 defeat in the London derby at Chelsea on Saturday. Read on for what he had to say.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with his players in their 3-1 victory against Fulham but believes there is still plenty to improve on despite winning both of their Premier League matches so far.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a breathless London derby after an 80th minute winner from Marcos Alonso sealed the victory for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues as Unai Emery suffered his second league defeat in two matches.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arsenal travelled to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea in a hectic London derby. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists