A MAN has denied fatally stabbing a well-known flower seller who dated his mum after an “altercation” following her death’.
Tony Eastlake, 55, was stabbed to death in broad daylight by his stall in Islington, North London, on May 29.
James Peppiatt, 21, today appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murder.
Tony – known as the "flower man of Islington" by customers – had been in a relationship with Peppiatt's mum Alicia Callaghan.
She tragically took her own life on April 1 at her home in Islington.
Tony collapsed and died in the street after being knifed in the heart following an "altercation", it is alleged.
Peppiatt, of Elmore Street in Islington, denied one count of murdering Mr Eastlake when he appeared by video link from Belmarsh Prison for the 15-minute hearing.
He will go on trial at the same court on July 18 next year, citing self-defence, the court heard.
Members of 55-year-old Mr Eastlake's family were present in court as Peppiatt entered his plea.
His heartbroken daughter Paige previously paid tribute to her "best friend”, saying: "It was not only my dad, it was my twin, it was my best friend and this is what’s going to get me through this — all of you here today.
"I’m speechless so thank you all."
The popular flower seller had manned the stall next to Essex Road Station for 39 years, since he was 14.
In a statement his family said: "Our hearts are broken forever at the loss of such a very special man.
"A man who was loved by everybody in the Islington community, who is remembered as kind and caring and always laughing, but most importantly a father who leaves behind a devastated family, Lisa, Pauline, and his only daughter and best friend Paige, who he adored.
"Tony worked on the flower stall on Essex Road since he was 14 years old and was there through rain or shine, a smiling and friendly face to so many of us.
"There have already been hundreds of messages of support for him from all those who knew and loved him over the years."
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