A Plaistow man has been found guilty of stabbing Edward Stokes to death in a fight outside a pub.

Reece Hussain-Lester, 22 of Upland Road, knifed the victim during a mass brawl outside the Army Navy pub in New Barn Street, Plaistow.

Edward had been drinking with his family in the pub when there was a confrontation between some of them and the group Hussain-Lester was part of.

Edward was not involved but when the argument escalated into a fight he was singled out and stabbed twice. Three other men were also injured as Hussain-Lester fled from the pub.

Police and the London Ambulance Service were called to the scene just after midnight on Saturday, 19 March following reports of a large scale fight. They found four men aged 18, 19, 29, and 37 with stab wounds, all of whom were taken to hospital. Three were treated and discharged but Edward died in hospital the next morning as a result of his injuries.

A post-mortem gave his cause of death as multiple stab wounds.

CCTV taken from the venue showed that Hussain-Lester was in possession of a large knife which he used, and which caused the fatally injuries to Edward.

He turned himself in at a south London police station 10 days later and was arrested and charged with murder and three counts of causing GBH with intent.

On Friday, November 11 Hussain-Lester was found guilty at the Old Bailey of manslaughter. He was also found guilty of one of count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily and one count of unlawful wounding. He was found not guilty of a count of grievous bodily harm.

He is due to appear at the same court for sentencing on Monday, November 14.

Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons, Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation said: “On that fatal evening a fight took place between two groups which led to the death of Edward Stokes. His death was needless as he was not involved in an earlier altercation that Hussain-Lester had with some other men but he was caught up in a subsequent, singular callous act of violence, where he was singled out and fatally stabbed twice.

“Edward was both unarmed and defenceless. His attacker went on to hurt others in a bid to escape from the pub, injuring a number of unarmed people in the process.

“Edward’s life was needlessly ended. I hope that Hussain-Lester’s conviction bring some form of closure to Edward’s family.”

George Forde, 22, of Barclay Road, Plaistow was acquitted of murder, three counts of grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.

No further action was taken against six women and four men, who were arrested in connection with the fight.

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