Killer who stabbed late mum's popular 'Flower Man' boyfriend near his Islington stall is jailed

James Peppiatt (l) and Tony Eastlake (r)
James Peppiatt (l) and Tony Eastlake (r) Credit: PA

The killer of a popular flower seller has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 20 years.

Tony Eastlake, 55, was fatally stabbed in May 2021 near his stall in Islington, north London, by his late girlfriend’s son James Peppiatt, who blamed him for her suicide.

The actions of Peppiatt, 23, who was found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey, were “needless and senseless”, Judge Richard Marks KC said while sentencing him on Thursday.

Tony's daughter spoke about how his murder near to the stall he ran for more than 40 years devastated a whole community and ruined lives. In May 2021, Tony Eastlake, 55, was fatally stabbed in Islington, north London, by his late girlfriend’s son James Peppiatt, who blamed him for his mother’s suicide. Paige Eastlake said that “justice has been served”. But she added: “This is pointless. No-one needs to be here. There’s too many lives ruined for one silly thing that happened that didn’t need to happen.”

A young Tony Eastlake at his flower stall in north London Credit: Met Police

Ms Eastlake described her father as the “funniest, kind, generous person that I’ve ever met”. “To me, he was the best and he was just one of a kind. He was my dad and my best friend. “He’d been working on that same stall since he was 14 and he was 55 when he died – so a long time. “He died on the street of Essex Road where he lived. I don’t know if that’s fate – you died where you worked every single day of your life.” Ms Eastlake, 28, took comfort from the fact that members of the public had rushed to help her father as he lay mortally injured after being attacked by Peppiatt. She said: “Listening to what the pathologist and the paramedics had said, within maybe 10 to 12 seconds he would have been unconscious, and I know he didn’t die on his own.”

'Flower Man of Islington'

The judge, speaking about Mr Eastlake, said: “He had a flower stall in Islington where he had worked for the whole of his life, from a very young age.

“He was extremely well known in the area and was a hugely popular local figure.

“He was known as the flower man of Islington. I am told that hundreds attended his funeral and a later vigil.

“I heard this afternoon in profoundly moving terms from his daughter and his sister.

“They were present throughout the trial and remain utterly broken-hearted by his needless and senseless death.”

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