Drinker cleared of murdering Kensal Rise man

Accused claimed he acted in self-defence

A drinker who stabbed a man to death after a boozing session culminated in a row has been cleared of his murder.

The Old Bailey heard Andrew Whitefield, 52, knifed Maciej Novak, 27, before telling the victim’s wife: ‘I have stabbed your husband three times, I think I have killed him.’

But he was cleared after he claimed he was attacked first and during a struggle to defend himself Mr Novak suffered the fatal wounds.

The Polish 27-year-old from Kensal Rise and his wife Jacqueline had been drinking with Whitefield at the home of friend in Kentish Town, on October 30 last year.

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC said a ‘significant’ amount of alcohol was consumed between the group, before the two men fell out when Mr Novak accused Whitefield of ‘touching’ his wife.

The pair were pulled apart, but when others in the flat fell asleep the two men fought again.

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Mrs Novak was woken in the early hours by Whitefield, who told her: “I have stabbed your husband three times, I think I have killed him.

“If you don’t believe me go and look in Maria’s bedroom. He’s down by the side of Maria’s bed on the floor.”

Whitefield left the property and was caught on CCTV close to his home in Holloway at 1.33am.

Police and ambulance crews were called to the scene and Mr Novak was operated on in the street before being taken to the Royal London hospital.

He underwent further surgery, but his condition deteriorated and Mr Novak was pronounced dead at 12.30pm on October 31.

Mr Bennetts told the jury Whitefield did not dispute that he caused the fatal injuries which killed Mr Novak.

Whitefield was cleared after insisting he acted in self-defence.