Murder trial: Karaoke film shows Liam Hamilton was "carefree and enjoying himself" on night of his death

By Rob Virtue on February 11, 2014 10:27 AM |

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Stabbing victim Liam Hamilton was killed just an hour after performing for friends and family at a karaoke night, the Old Bailey heard this week.

The jury was shown camera phone footage of the 32-year-old from Poplar singing David Gray's hit Babylon at the Manor Arms pub on the evening of July 26 last year.

Minutes later he was fatally stabbed in a street brawl. Three of Liam's cousins are on trial for his murder.

Noel Hamilton, 35, from Manchester Road on the Isle of Dogs, Paul Hamilton, 30, from Woodstock Terrace in Poplar, and Thomas Hamilton, 36, of Poplar High Street, all deny the charge.

Summing up the evidence this week, Judge Paul Worsley said of the karaoke footage: "The prosecution say an hour before Liam was stabbed this clearly was a carefree young man enjoying himself in the pub and not one looking for trouble."

The judge said how Liam's side of the family had told the court the victim was in a "good mood" at the pub and that there was "no talk of revenge" over an incident earlier that day in which Liam's sister Fiona was attacked.

That was sparked by an argument between children in the family.

The fatal incident took place in Simpson's Road, just off Poplar High Street, at about 10pm. Liam had gone to the scene after he was told another member of his family was in trouble.

The judge told the jury: "There is no dispute that Paul Hamilton was the person who stabbed Liam, deep into the back. The issue is one of self-defence."

Recounting Liam's sister Fiona giving evidence, the judge told of Liam's final minutes: "Fiona said 'as soon as Liam got out of the car he was under attack. Liam was trying to defend himself and I was right next to him'.

"He had nothing in his hand. All three were hitting him and he was defenceless. I saw blood on his top. He got up, staggered and collapsed near the car. His girlfriend Abbie said 'Liam's been stabbed'.

"Then Thomas laughed aggressively at me 'Ha ha - are you happy now?'"

The defence argues Liam was carrying a glass as he left the car and knives had been brandished in disputes earlier that day.

All three defendants are also charged with violent disorder.

A fourth cousin, James Hamilton, 27, from New Festival Avenue in Poplar, denies a charge of violent disorder.

The trial continues.

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