Marcel Campbell murder trial: Upper Street stabbing was ‘like a horror movie’

Floral tributes left at the scene of Marcel Campbell's stabbing in Upper Street. Picture: Polly Hanc

Floral tributes left at the scene of Marcel Campbell's stabbing in Upper Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A witness broke down in tears as she spoke of the real life “horror movie” that was Marcel Campbell’s fatal stabbing in Upper Street.

Marcel Campbell.

Marcel Campbell. - Credit: Archant

Reece Williams, 22, of Northdown Street, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murdering father-of-two Mr Campbell near Udderlicious Ice Cream parlour during rush hour on May 21.

The court heard Mr Campbell, 30, and Williams, then 21, were passengers in a white van, driven by Gabriel Prempeh, when a fight broke out between them.

The altercation spilled out onto the pavement and up against a shop front, where witnesses watched in horror as an attacker stabbed him “multiple times” before fleeing.

A woman was walking down Upper Street with two friends looking for a restaurant when they witnessed the “commotion” of the attack, the court heard.

Marcel Campbell.

Marcel Campbell. - Credit: Archant

She told jurors: “What was horrifying for me to see – it was like a horror movie because it was just this stabbing that would not stop and you could see the life was going slowly out of him and then he fell to the floor.

“He slowly became more lifeless in the way his body was and then he fell to the floor.”

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As she spoke, some of Mr Campbell’s family broke down and left the court room, while Williams looked on from behind the glass.

The woman had earlier told the court how, at first glimpse, she thought Mr Campbell was being punched.

Prosecutor Jonathan Reece asked: “When was it that you realised that this was not punches but what you said were stabs?”

“I could see the stabbing motion,” said the witness. “They were short and quick and not like punches, they were stabbing motions.

When asked whether she saw the implement making these action, she told the court the attacker was holding a “big knife”.

The forensic pathologist, who carried out the post-mortem examination of Mr Campbell’s body, found 17 wounds, some as deep as seven inches, including nine knife punctures to the chest area.

The prosecution asked what Mr Campbell was doing during the attack.

The witness told the court: “They [Mr Campbell] were trying to fight back but I don’t know if they had a knife themselves.

“They were like the way boxers get when you’re holding but still fighting each other.”

This imagery of boxers clinching echoed comments made earlier by a previous witness, who was with the woman on the day of the stabbing, and took to the stand before her this week.

The earlier witness had also said: “At points it was like he [the victim] was being thrown around like a rag doll.”

In cross examination, Williams’ lawyer George Cater Stephenson pressed both witnesses on the distance between them and the attack.

One said she was standing “four or five meters” away and the attack lasted between five and 10 minutes. Mr Stephenson QC disputed this.

He said: “I’m going to suggest the CCTV appears to indicate that you are quite a distance away when this was going on.

“I’m going to suggest it would be very difficult to see what was going on between men struggling on the pavement.

“I suggest you’re mistaken about what you think you saw. You may well have seen a tussle between two men outside. But those two men outside the van both stumbled out together [one witness had earlier alleged the victim was pulled from the van] and the whole incident lasted 25 to 26 seconds between what you call the victim and the attacker.”

Williams first appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ court charged with murder on May 28. His defence is expected next week. The trial continues.

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