Date: 12 Sep 1988
John Ward was stabbed in the toilet of The Avenue public house after he and his brother were confronted by five men with knives.
He had been stabbed seven times.
An unemployed painter and decorator was tried for his murder but found not guilty. Whilst it wasn't suggested at the trial that he had actually been the man that had stabbed John Ward, it was stated that he had been with the group that had attacked him and as such he was charged with both murder and violent disorder but was acquitted of both charges. The unemployed painter and decorator admitted that he had been drinking in The Avenue public house at the time of the murder but said that he was not involved. He said that he had seen the attackers come out of the lavatory and said that as they came out e also left the pub. He said that he saw four to five men come out and that he didn't want to be involved in any fight and so he put his pint down and left and went home to his mother's place where he lived.
It was noted that the unemployed painter and decorator had been emphatic about his innocence and had told the police when he was first arrested that he had not been a party to the violence. He had told the police that he had seen the men come out of the lavatory but had not seen anyone with any weapons.
John Ward had been attending a wake at the pub following the death of his third child which was still born. After being stabbed he was taken to the same hospital that his third child died at where he died two days later.
He had lived in Altmore Avenue, East Ham.