Homeless man was fatally stabbed in Wembley park after police left him there, court hears

Milton Hurlington headshot
-Credit: (Image: MyLondon)


A homeless man was fatally stabbed with a broken vodka bottle after twice being picked up by police for his drunken behaviour, a court has heard. Officers had dropped Milton Hurlington, 42, at a park in Wembley, north London, on the evening of last July 17 in the hope that he would stay out of trouble, the court was told.

Already that day, police had been called over his behaviour towards a bus driver and at a Lidl supermarket, the Old Bailey heard. But after being left at King Edward VII park, Mr Hurlington allegedly verbally abused a group of young men.

One of them allegedly smashed the victim's alcohol bottle then chased and fatally stabbed him in the right armpit, jurors were told. Wael Farroukh, 19, from Wembley, has denied Mr Hurlington's murder and having an offensive weapon.

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Forensic police at the scene in King Edward VII park, Wembley
Mr Hurlington was fatally attacked in King Edward VII Park -Credit:David Nathan/UKNIP

Opening his trial, prosecutor Julian Evans KC said police were first called to an incident involving a bus driver at 4.15pm. The driver told officers that he had bought a bunch of bananas while on a break and had obliged when the victim asked him for one of them.

On his account, Mr Hurlington became "extremely angry", twisted his wing mirror and accused the driver of being racist. Mr Evans said it was clear to officers that Mr Hurlington had been drinking as he claimed that the driver had called him a "monkey" when he handed him the fruit.

Later, police were called by security staff at a Lidl supermarket in Wembley. It was alleged the victim, who entered the store at about 6pm, was drunk and aggressive and had attempted to steal alcohol, jurors heard. Officers escorted him out after he bought a bottle of vodka, the court heard.

He told police he had nowhere to live and had been sleeping on buses. Mr Evans said: "Officers discussed with Milton where they could drive him. It was decided they would take him to a local park nearby in order he go to a place where he might not come into conflict with others."

In the park, Mr Hurlington was "provocative" and "offensive" towards Farroukh and his friends, Mr Evans said. The group moved away but Mr Hurlington followed them and tried to chat to them again, jurors were told.

The defendant allegedly picked up Mr Hurlington's bottle, smashed it, chased after the victim and stabbed him twice with the broken glass. Mr Hurlington suffered a wound to his left elbow and a 5cm-deep injury to his right armpit which damaged a major blood vessel and proved fatal.

After being arrested, Farroukh denied that he had attacked Mr Hurlington, claiming that someone playing football nearby had gone after him. He told police the victim had insulted him and his friends, saying Sudanese people had sold their own into slavery.

Mr Evans told jurors the defendant now accepts that he injured Mr Hurlington but claims he acted in self-defence and had no intention to kill or really harm him. The prosecutor said: "It is his case that he believed that Milton was going to attack him and his friends. As a result, he smashed a bottle on the ground to deter him."

"It is his case that Milton continued to be aggressive and rude, Milton assaulted him, and he responded. He injured Milton with the bottle, he was acting in self-defence." The Harrow Crown Court trial which is sitting at the Old Bailey continues.

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