Argument over wife led to fatal stabbing at Kentish Town flat

A construction worker accused of killing a Polish man in a Halloween night stabbing claims he acted in self-defence.

Andrew Whitefield, of Horsell Road, Kentish Town, appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday charged with murdering Maciej Novak at a Chalk Farm flat last year.

But the 52-year-old said it was Mr Novak who instigated the knife attack after accusing him of acting inappropriately with his wife.

“The defendant claims he was acting in self-defence,” said prosecutor Phillip Bennetts QC.

“He caused injuries – there’s no dispute about that. His claim was that Maciej Novak, armed with a knife, attacked him and he, in defending himself, struggled with Maciej and, as a result, he died.”

The drama unfolded after Whitefield and Mr Novak had been drinking together at a flat in Forge Place, Chalk Farm, on the evening of October 31, 2010.

The two men had been invited separately to join a boozy session with Mr Novak’s wife Jacqueline and her friend Maria, who lived at the property.

Most Read

Mrs Novak, a chef, had arrived earlier after leaving work with a rucksack containing two kitchen knives wrapped in a tea towel.

The two women had already been drinking heavily when Mr Novak arrived first and brought more alcohol with him, including a bottle of vodka and cans of Budweiser.

Whitefield came along shortly after, at which point the four sat down to carry on drinking together.

But Mr Bennetts said the defendant claimed that, at some point in the evening, Mr Novak became very upset at Whitefield’s behaviour with his wife.

A fight is said to have broken out but Mrs Novak managed to separate the pair, the prosecutor continued. She then fell asleep until she was suddenly woken up by Whitefield, who confessed he had killed Mr Novak.

Standing in the doorway of the living room, Mr Bentley said the defendant told Mrs Novak: “I’ve stabbed your husband three times’ – I think I’ve killed him.

“If you don’t believe me go and look in Maria’s bedroom.”

Mrs Novak rushed to the bedroom to check and found her husband’s body lying next to the bed, the court heard.

In the meantime, Whitefield left the flat. Police and paramedics were called to attend to Mr Novak at about 1am.

The medics attempted to operate on the injured man at the scene before rushing him to the Royal London Hospital for further surgery.

But his condition deteriorated and Mr Novak was pronounced dead at 12.25pm the next day.

The trial continues.