Poplar murder accused ‘killed City worker with bike chain after chicken shop argument’, court hears

A vigil for Zdenek Makar, known as Zed

A vigil for Zdenek Makar, known as Zed - Credit: Niall Joyce

A man accused of killing a catering manager with a bicycle chain after a trivial argument in a chicken shop said “Look what you made me do” as his victim lay dying in the street, a court has heard.

Zdenek Makar

Zdenek Makar - Credit: MPS

Zdenek Makar, known as Zed, was on his way home when he stopped off at Perfect Fried Chicken in East India Dock Road, Poplar, on the evening of September 21 last year.

The Old Bailey heard how painter and decorator Raymond Sculley, who was there with three friends, had left a group of bicycles outside the takeaway.

Seeing them strewn on the pavement outside, Mr Makar allegedly joked to one of the group, aged 16: “What’s this? A bike gang?”

It led to a minor spat inside the chicken shop before Sculley, 29, stepped in and put Mr Makar into a “quasi-headlock”, jurors heard.

Sculley, wearing paint splattered work clothes, was seen on CCTV footage acting aggressively towards the suited hospitality manager, who was trying to calm the situation.

Prosecutor Lisa Wilding QC told how Sculley had earlier spent the evening playing video games, smoking cannabis and chatting with friends.

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She said: “As he walked away, Mr Sculley and his friends cycled after him, it being their route home.

“Mr Makar obviously believed he was being followed and turned to confront the group. He put his food down and took his jacket off.

“He was alone and unarmed. Raymond Sculley then removed a bicycle lock - a heavy metal chain attached to a solid locking end that he took from his own bike - and approached the helpless Mr Makar.

“He swung the improvised weapon and struck Mr Makar to the left side of his head, catching him behind the ear and knocking him to the ground where he then struck him at least twice more.”

The court was told that just before launching his attack, Sculley allegedly said: “Do you want this? Are you ready to go?” as his victim silently backed away.

Afterwards, Sculley cycled home, leaving 31-year-old Mr Makar fatally injured.

Jurors heard the blows ruptured Mr Makar’s blood vessels and he suffered acute bleeding.

Another passing cyclist saw the end of the attack and dialled 999 as residents rushed to help. Mr Makar was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.22am.

That night, Sculley contacted Mark Stewart, one of his friends who witnessed the attack, and told him he had “messed up” and would say Mr Makar had fallen and hit his head.

Two days later, Mr Stewart and his then girlfriend, Klaudia Derlaga, went to Leytonstone Police Station to tell officers Sculley was responsible.

The same day, Sculley handed himself in saying: “I feel like, destroyed everything and a bit down. Shocked. Like I’ve destroyed potential lives and future careers.”

Ms Wilding told jurors: “It appears that Sculley was wound up by what had happened at the chicken shop.

“He acted in a rage, decided to use a weapon, pursued his victim who was unarmed and backing away and struck him about the head with a heavy lump of metal before continuing his assault when he had rendered him unconscious on the ground.

“Notwithstanding what Sculley told his friends about what he would say to the police if arrested, he has in fact offered no explanation for the events on September 21.”

Sculley, of Sherman House, Aberfeldy Street, Poplar, denies murder. The trial continues.