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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Man 'killed fighting off mugger'
Bernard Hegarty
Bernard Hegarty died five days after he was stabbed
An architect died after being stabbed by a mugger he tried to fight off, an Old Bailey jury has heard.

Bernard Hegarty, 29, of Bethnal Green, east London, died five days after being stabbed through the heart while out shopping on his lunch break.

Christopher Olokun, 31, of no fixed address, denies murdering and attempting to rob Mr Hegarty in August last year.

He also pleaded not guilty to seven charges of robbery during 2004.

Carpet shopping

The stabbing took place in Mansford Street, around the corner from where Mr Hegarty worked, in Bethnal Green, said John McGuinness, prosecuting.

The court heard a woman saw Mr Hegarty, who had been shopping for a carpet for his new flat, struggling with a man before staggering around covered in blood.

He was clearly a courageous man - that courage has cost him his life
John McGuinness, prosecuting

He was able to tell passers-by he had been stabbed and mugged as he collapsed, the court heard.

Colleagues from his office ran out and director Peter Smith noticed Mr Hegarty's wallet protruding from his trouser pocket, the jury heard.

An air ambulance doctor performed open chest surgery in the street when his heart stopped.

Knife sheath

He later had an emergency operation in hospital but died on 16 August last year.

The court heard the would-be mugger failed to get any of Mr Hegarty's belongings.

Mr McGuinness told the court: "The robber appears to have been after money and Mr Hegarty's mobile."

He described Mr Hegarty as a professional man who fought off a man trying to steal from him.

"He was clearly a courageous man. That courage has cost him his life because the would-be robber turned into a murderer."

He said Mr Olokun was arrested after a home-made knife sheath was found near the attack scene with traces of his DNA on it.

The case continues.




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