Knifeman accused of murdering Holloway addict then fleeing on Eurostar
PUBLISHED: 12:46 15 October 2010
A KNIFEMAN fled Britain on a Eurostar train after stabbing his neighbour to death, the Old Bailey heard this week.
Yamine Ladghem-Chikouche, 24, stabbed Scotsman Duncan MacRae, 55, in the back piercing his aorta, a major artery.
Mr MacRae, originally from the Isle of Lewis, bled to death in the hallway of a block of flats in Caledonian Road, Holloway, on July 15 last year.
French Algerian Ladghem-Chikouche fled before the emergency services arrived and the following day caught a Eurostar train from St Pancras to France.
Various residents at the Caledonian Road flats, a hostel for the homeless, identified him as the killer and a European arrest warrant was issued.
By March 1 this year a solicitor contacted the police to say Ladghem-Chikouche was willing to hand himself in and three days later he surrendered to a police station in northern France.
He was flown back to the UK on March 17 and charged with Mr MacRae’s murder.
Prosecutor Mark Fenhalls told jurors there had been a petty row between the victim and another resident at the flats around at 6.15pm on the day he died.
Mr MacRae had been bothering the man for heroin, but was told a dealer would not supply him.
“He left the flat in something of a temper,” said the prosecutor.
“The defendant followed him out of the flat saying he was going to deal with this. Mr MacRae never made it out the hallway.
“The defendant killed him at the bottom of the stairs in the communal hallway.
“It was the defendant’s irritation at Mr MacRae either based on events that day or some previous events between them, that led to this catastrophic outcome.”
Residents called emergency services, but despite efforts to keep him alive Mr MacRae was pronounced at the scene.
The court heard Mr MacRae was a single man and registered drug addict, known to use Class A drugs and prescription methadone.
He was out of work but claimed benefits and lived alone in a bedsit on the second floor of the converted house.
Mr Fenhalls said Mr MacRae did have some money, probably part of a “legacy from his father’s will”. He is survived by two older brothers.
Ladghem-Chikouche had been staying with another resident on the ground floor of the flats.
After Ladghem-Chikouche was arrested at Heathrow airport he was taken in to custody and offered the chance to make a prepared statement or give a voluntary interview which he declined.
He was charged with murder on March 17 at 6.45pm.
Mr Fenhalls told the jury: “The prosecution case is that he is guilty of murder, nothing less.
“There appears to be no issue at all that this defendant accepts he inflicted the fatal wound on Mr MacRae.
“In those circumstances it is likely that the principle issue you will be considering in due course will be to assess his claim he acted in self defence and his actions were reasonable and necessary.
“We submit that claim, if it be his claim, is simply unsustainable on the evidence.”
Ladghem-Chikouche, of no fixed address, denies murder.
The trial continues.