Highbury drinker knifed friend who told him to stay away from his wife, court told

A HIGHBURY man stabbed his drinking partner to death after the victim him to stay away from his wife, the Old Bailey heard this week.

Andrew Whitefield, 52, of Horsell Road, knifed Maciej Novak, after the 27-year-old told him: “Don’t you ever touch my f***ing wife.”

The two men had been drinking together, along with Mr Novak’s wife Jacqueline, at the home of friend Maria Burns in Forge Place, 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.

Mr Novak, from Kensal Rise, had taken a bottle of vodka and four cans of Budweiser to the flat, his wife had four cans of lager and Whitefield had also visited a shop before arriving at about 10.30pm.

Ms Burns and Mr Novak sat together drinking the vodka, and Whitefield was sat alongside Mrs Novak.

Mr Bennetts said: “Maciej Novak became upset and said to this defendant ‘don’t you ever touch my f***ing wife, don’t you ever go near my wife’ and there was a fight.”

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The pair were separated, and Mr Novak left the room and was thought to have left the flat.

His wife, who had pulled the brawling men apart, fell asleep on the sofa but was woken sometime later by Whitefield who was holding a knife.

He is alleged to have 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 does not dispute that he caused the fatal injuries which killed Mr Novak, but he will claim he acted in self-defence.

The prosecutor said: “His case will be that Maciej Novak armed with a knife attacked him and that he, in seeking to defend himself, struggled with Maciej Novak as a result Mr Novak was stabbed and as a result he died.”

He said evidence called by the prosecution would prove Whitefield’s account was “not a truthful one”.

Whitefield denies murder.

The trial continues.