Published: 15 June, 2012
by DAVID ST GEORGE
THE grieving loved ones of former bus driver and retired Islington Council worker Alan Smith – stabbed to death by a stranger – yesterday (Thursday) sat close to his killer with the end of an agonising Old Bailey murder trial in sight.
Popular grandfather Mr Smith, 63, who lived in Eden Grove, Holloway, for 30 years before moving to Leyton with devoted partner Estelle, was attacked as he settled down to enjoy a family meal at a café in Leabridge Road in March last year.
Father-of-two Matthew Quesada, 26, repeatedly knifed him “for doing nothing” after Mr Smith had innocently and kindly inquired about the welfare of his weeping three-year-old daughter.
Jobless Quesada, with a history of violence, left the victim dying in sight of helpless Estelle, before swaggering away “with a smug look on his face”.
He has admitted manslaughter and his QC, Patrick Upward, told the court that Quesada was mentally unbalanced at the time and not a master of his own mind.
Quesada’s mother, Victoria, 55, from Croydon, and his girlfriend Maria Brigette, 26, who lived with him in Leyton, deny helping him to try to evade capture.
Jeffrey Israel, for Mrs Quesada, said she went in fear of her son’s explosive temperament and had done her best to get him to surrender to police. And Jonathan Rose, for Ms Brigette, the mother of Quesada’s two children, said she had been subjected to his violent mood swings and had not given him any encouragement to escape the law.
Jurors are expected to retire today (Friday) to consider verdicts.