Nigerian (Michael Adegbite)Teaching assistant killed as he tried to track down thieves who attempted to steal his computer
A teaching assistant who was stabbed to death as he tried to sell his laptop on Gumtree ‘saw red’ when the buyers tried to rob him, the Old Bailey heard.
Michael Adegbite, 28, was knifed through the heart after pursuing three men who had attempted to steal his Apple MacBook.
He and two pals armed themselves with a metal pole, a crowbar and a hammer as they hunted down the three men who had tried to rip them off.
However, Mr Adegbite ended up in a pool of blood on the pavement in the ensuing confrontation.
Phillip Omotosho, a pal of the victim, told detectives Mr Adegbite ‘felt violated’ in the aftermath of the attempted robbery.
‘I’m not sure what got into his head, that he just saw red when we went past them’, he told the police in the hours after the incident.
‘It’s stupidly out of character, it’s stupid, extremely out of character - it doesn’t make sense.
‘He just saw red, that’s literally what happened.’
Mr Omotosho told the court his pal had ‘probably felt violated’ by the attempted robbery, but said Mr Adegbite was not someone who usually got into fights.
‘He’s not a fighter in the slightest, his mentality wouldn’t have been they tried to rob me, I will teach them a lesson’, he said, denying that Mr Adegbite had gone seeking revenge.
‘Saying he saw red doesn’t mean he saw them as a target.
‘We were talking in the car and I would know if he was mad.
‘At this moment, only Michael knows close up what happened in that last couple of seconds.
‘Coming up to that the Michael I knew, hand on heart, it’s really easy for me to sit here and make him look like Mr Angel, but everyone that came across him... knew he would try to break up a fight with strangers.
‘Other people would record it with their phones, but he would try to break it up.’
Montel Ajayi, 19, Isaac Owen-Brady, 18, and Christopher Nzeh, 18, are accused of murdering Mr Adegbite on July 19 last year.
They have all admitted conspiracy to rob, but deny responsibility for the stabbing.
They had arranged to buy the £850 laptop from Mr Adegbite shortly before 7pm in a car park to Mr Omotosho’s house in Auckland Close, Enfield.
But during the exchange it is said one of the group pulled out a knife before Mr Adegbite snatched back the laptop.
Mr Omotosho said he was then summoned out of his house by Mr Adegbite to join him and a third man, Mohammed Umer, as they went to find the robbers.
He said Mr Adegbite told him over the phone: ‘Bring a hammer, bring a hammer’ and he grabbed the nearest potential weapons he could find.
‘They presented a knife, if Michael was that way inclined he would have said “bring a knife”’, said Mr Omotosho.
‘He said “bring a hammer”, that clearly says let’s scare them away, not let’s kill them. He’s not that way inclined.’
The three men tracked the defendant’s down to nearby Lackmore Road when Nzeh is accused of stabbing him once in the chest.
Mr Adegbite, a university graduate who worked as a teaching assistant at Heathcote School in Chingford, bled heavily from the wound and was declared dead less than 30 minutes later.
Ajayi, of Fowley Close, Waltham Cross, Herts, Owen-Brady, of Blossom Lane, Enfield, and Nzeh, of Fountain Row, Hitchin, Herts, all deny murder.
Ajayi and Owen-Brady also deny possessing an article with a blade or a point, namely a folding knife.