Search

Crouch End man killed deaf actor with one punch outside Islington pub, court hears

17:28 12 May 2014

The trial continues.

The trial continues.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A deaf man killed an inspirational actor with one punch after signing “watch me” to a friend, a court heard.

Matthew Powe, 30, attacked Vitalis Katakinas after the deaf thespian knocked his glasses off, the Old Bailey was told.

Both men had been to the British Sign Language Pride event in Highbury Fields before making their way to the White Swan pub, near Highbury and Islington station, on Saturday, June 29, last year.

Powe, of Inderwick Road, Crouch End, got in the middle of a quarrel between the 34-year-old actor and Thomas Giddens at around 11.30pm.

Mr Katakinas, who won accolades for his performance in Deafinitely Theatre’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, was arguing with Mr Giddens outside because he was jealous of his friendship with fiancée Lina Kankevicinti.

Prosecutor Alan Kent QC told the jury the “argument descended into violence” after Powe got involved.

“There is some evidence that Mr Katalinas struck the first blow, he punched the defendant in the face or pushed him, that caused the defendant’s glasses to fall off,” he continued.

“He bent down, picked them up and put them back on.

“Having done so he signed to a friend ‘watch me’ and punched Mr Katalinas in the face.

“That punch knocked Mr Katalinas to the ground and indeed it seems that the defendant also ended up on the ground.”

Mr Kent said the father-of-one “was probably unconscious” from the first punch, having suffered a serious head injury.

He died in hospital a week later without ever regaining consciousness.

Powe - who has a team of sign language interpreters translating the trial to him - claims he was acting in self defence but Mr Kent said he attacked his victim in retaliation.

He denies murder and an alternate charge of manslaughter.

The trial continues.

Latest Islington News Stories

10:02

The leader of Islington Council believes plans for a new academy will address the shortage of primary schools places in the area.

Yesterday, 19:03

Divisive Highbury Grove head Tom Sherrington, who came under fire last year over job cuts, finances and discipline, has left the school with immediate effect.

Yesterday, 18:01

Traditional cars will be banned from parking and loading in a number roads around Old Street in the hope of cleaning up Shoreditch’s filthy air.

Yesterday, 16:26

Five Islington Police officers have been shortlisted for a Met bravery award for detaining a man waving a machete – and wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest.

Yesterday, 14:37

An unlikely combination of university students and inmates have achieved that rarest of feats – a feelgood story about Pentonville Prison.

Yesterday, 10:46

Violent Arsenal and West Ham fans who brawled outside a Wetherspoons pub in Upper Street have been jailed and banned from attending games.

Thu, 14:45

A 69-year-old man with stage 3 cancer has claimed he was “shoved in a corner” of A&E for 16 hours after being rushed to hospital with open wounds.

Thu, 09:12

Ten people whose homes were devastated by the Upper Street flooding at the start of December are still living out of a hotel.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now