Thug found guilty of stabbing ex-Wasps rugby player, 69, to death in spitting row

A thug who stabbed a former Wasps rugby player to death just yards from his home has been convicted of manslaughter.

Allan Isichei, 69, was walking home from the pub in Southall, west London, on August 24, 2019, when he spotted Gurjeet Singh Lall spitting while leaning against a wall.

The pair briefly rowed before parting but then Lall, 36, spat again causing the grandfather to turn back to him, a court heard.

After another heated exchange, Lall stabbed Mr Isichei several times in a struggle, with the victim able to eventually wrestle the weapon away from his attacker, reports My London.

Not realising how badly he was injured, Mr Isichei had got up and walked down the street before stopping and staggering to a friend’s home.

He rang the doorbell and pleaded for help, with police and paramedics called around 6.30pm.

He was taken to hospital via ambulance but died at 7.56pm.

Officers were able to trace the also injured Lall back to his home in St Mary’s Avenue South by following his blood trail.

In a police interview he claimed he had acted in self-defence.

On Monday (October 26), a jury at Inner London Crown Court found Lall guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, of the Met Police’s Specialist Crime, said there was “no good reason” for the defendant to have been carrying a knife that day and “no good reason for him to use it”.

He added that he was pleased the jury rejected his claims of self-defence.

Mr Isichei was a prop for the Coventry-based rugby club during the 1970s and 1980s, playing nearly 200 games for the first XV.

His family said the grandfather of five, born to an Irish mother and Nigerian father, had “fought against and challenged prejudices and negative perceptions all his life”.

“At the time of his selection, in the early 1970s, Allan was one of only two black people playing English senior rugby,” the family statement continued.

They added he never argued with referees and was never sent off in his career because he believed it was important he act as a positive role model for aspiring black players.

In the 1990s he began coaching Wasps youth and women’s sides, as well as Richmond and London Nigerian clubs.

Solomon N’Jie, president of Wasps FC, the amateur club left after a split with a professional Wasps RFC side in the 1990s, called Mr Isichei a “trailblazer” who is “sorely missed”.

The tragic grandfather was also an experienced saxophonist who was part of a jazz group that played in many venues across London.

On the evening of the attack he had gone to The Plough pub, in Tentelow Lane just before 6pm where he enjoyed a beer and read his tablet in the beer garden.

He was a regular customer to the pub, which was just a short walk from his home.

Mr Isichei typically only had one drink and so left at around 6.30pm. It was on that walk home that Lall stabbed him.

His family added: “Allan lived a full and wonderful life. He worked hard, was successful and loved his family with all his heart.

“It is a tragedy that his life was ended so soon. He leaves a huge hole in all of our hearts.”