Pals pay tribute to ‘flower seller’ stabbed to death after stepping in to stop mugger who ‘put smile on everyone's face’

PALS paid tribute to a "flower-seller" who "put a smile on people's faces" after he was brutally stabbed to death when he tried to stop a mugging.

Tributes have been pouring in online for the 50-year-old man with friends and residents naming him Tony Eastlake.

Those who knew him spoke about a "kind heart" who "always put a smile on people's faces" and "will be truly missed."

One wrote: "Please join us tonight remembering Tony Eastlake who owned the flower stall by Essex Road station.

"Such such sad news, my thoughts are with Tony’s family and loved ones. Tony had a kind heart, served our community for a number of years and always put a smile on the faces of people across Islington.

"He was not just a local businessman, but a friend to many. Please light a candle this evening. RIP mate. You will be missed."

Another one said: "This is my friends dad, Tony Eastlake and a close family friend to my mother.

"You will be truly missed Tony, serving our community for over 30 year’s, making everyone you spoke to smile.

"You were not just a local businessman, but a friend to many."

Someone tweeted: "An innocent man trying to stop a mugging on Essex Road N1 in broad daylight.

"Where a person can’t run a business on the streets of London without the fear of a knife in their back."

 Another one said: "He was a lovely guy. I’m feeling that there really should be a permanent tribute to Tony on “his” corner."

Police are hunting a knifeman after the victim was found at around 5.30 pm yesterday with stab wounds on Essex Road in Islington.

Emergency workers provided first aid to the injured man but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 5.38 pm on Saturday.

Police said his family has been informed.

No arrests have been made and a crime scene remains in place, authorities said.

An air ambulance was pictured landing near the scene before the man was pronounced dead.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called at 17:27hrs on Saturday, 29 May to reports of an injured man on Essex Road, N1.

"Officers attended and found a man suffering from a stab wound and immediately provided first aid.

"Despite their efforts, and that of the London Ambulance Service, the man, believed to be aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene at 17:58hrs."

This is the latest death caused by the city's rampant knife crime epidemic.

London recorded the highest rate of stabbings in the UK in 2019-20, with 179 offences involving a knife per 100,000 people, according to official data published in October.

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