Beggar is cleared of murder

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The Independent Online
A STREET beggar who stabbed a thug to death wept as he walked free from an Old Bailey court yesterday after a jury accepted that he acted in self-defence.

Paul Egerton, 24, from Chester, was cleared of the murder and manslaughter of Frederick Stobbart, 30. The court was told Mr Stobbart terrorised homeless people in the West End of London and called himself a 'taxer'. He robbed and beat them up.

Michael Gledhill, for the defence, said Mr Egerton was begging in Frith Street, Soho, last September when Mr Stobbart demanded his money and his sleeping bag. He refused to hand over anything and Mr Stobbart threatened to kill him and made a move which Mr Egerton thought was an attempt to pull a knife.

Mr Egerton stabbed him in the stomach. He was acting lawfully in defending himself while in fear for his own life.