Published: 18 May, 2012
by DAVID St GEORGE
CARING grandfather Alan Smith was only trying to help when he asked a stranger why his little girl was crying and in distress.
Tragically, his innocent intervention cost him his life, the Old Bailey has heard.
Customers in the Leyton café where Mr Smith, 63, was enjoying a coffee while waiting for his family overheard the shocking response to his charitable query as the child’s father shouted: “F**k off and mind your own business.”
The former bus driver, who spent more than 30 years in Islington where he was a popular binman, wanted no confrontation because this was a day of celebration.
It was his adult daughter Estelle’s birthday and he had planned a get-together and meal.
He moved off to avoid Matthew Quesada, a jobless 26-year-old who lived in Leyton with his girlfriend and two children, but was followed minutes later as he sat down at the Roma Café nearby with his partner, Denise, Estelle and her husband Mark Jenkins to enjoy a meal.
Quesada, armed with a knife, rushed in and launched a “lunatic” attack on Mr Smith, stabbing him in the chest and head, the court heard.
Prosecutor Roger Smart told the Old Bailey that as Mr Smith collapsed dying from wounds to the heart, Quesada stood nearby, apparently looking satisfied with his actions.
He later made hurried arrangements to flee the UK but was stopped by police in his mother’s car in Croydon with his passport and documents for a flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Quesada denies murder but admits manslaughter and claims diminished responsibility.
His mother, Victoria Passley-Quesada, 54, and girlfriend, Maria Brigette, 26, deny assisting him to avoid police.
Mr Smith lived for many years in Eden Grove, off Holloway Road, with Denise before moving to Leyton. The trial continues.