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James Peppiatt of Canonbury has been charged with murder and has been placed on remand to appear in Highbury Corner Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Loud applause broke out at a vigil held in his honor on Monday attended by friends, family and loved ones, as his daughter Paige Eastlake called the flower seller ‘my twin’ and ‘my best friend’.
A 21-year-old man was charged today with the murder of flower seller Tony Eastlake, who was stabbed to death just yards from his North London stall over the holiday weekend.
The 55-year-old, whose family described him as a ‘very special man’ and ‘loved by all’, was attacked on Essex Road, Islington on Saturday around 5.30pm. and was pronounced dead at the scene.
How old is James Peppiatt?
He is unknown age.
Chief Inspector Detective Vicky Tunstall, who was leading the Metropolitan Police investigation, had asked anyone with information to come forward and verify the CCTV or dash cam footage.
In a statement, she said: ‘Our dedicated team of officers has worked tirelessly since Saturday night to identify the person suspected in the murder of Tony Eastlake.
‘I hope this brings some reassurance to the community after what was an incredibly traumatic and disturbing incident that has cost the life of a well-loved and respected man.
I can confirm that this attack is not believed to have occurred as a result of a robbery. We continue to appeal to anyone who has seen something to come forward to the police.
“ If you live within this area or were driving, check your CCTV and dash cam footage to see if there is anything that can aid the investigation. No data is insignificant.
Crowds of family, friends, customers, passersby and neighbors had gathered for the vigil at the flower stand near the Essex Road station, where she had worked since she was 14 years old.
The applause was led by friend Jody Graber, who told loved ones: ‘This has been a massive trauma for our community. It shouldn’t have happened.
“This is for Tony Eastlake, the most charming man who could sell you a bouquet of flowers.”
She said that Mr. Eastlake was known to everyone in the community, including those who had just passed on the bus, and that he was a good friend.
Amid soft laughs, Mr. Graber recalled that Mr. Eastlake once refused to sell a bouquet of flowers to a customer on Valentine’s Day because he thought the occasion was a “scam.”
Mr. Graber led a chorus of ‘there’s only one Tony Eastlake’ before the crowd launched blue balloons into the warm night sky.
Andrés Paniagua Toro said:
‘What a sad day, the community has lost a great human being who helped many people every day with his beautiful smile and his willingness to listen to his afflictions.
“Tony always made me smile every morning on the way to work.”
Elsa Smurthwate posted: ‘How very, very tragic. RIP friend, a true Islingtonian and a man who also had time to smile and say hello. He and his position have literally been one of the few things that stood the test of time x. I hope the council regards his post as a sanctuary in his memory.
Garry Clowes said: ‘God rest Tony, he always enjoyed coming over for a chat and a cup of tea. London is slowly being crushed.
Tony Burke, who lives nearby, said:
Tony Burke, who lives nearby, said: ‘He was such a lovely man. He wasn’t just the flower man from Islington, he was a friend. I will miss him terribly.
He wouldn’t let me pay for my father’s funeral flowers. I had to force him to take the money. He worked in that position for 40 years. He always had a smile for everyone. ‘
In a statement, his family said: ‘Our hearts are forever broken over the loss of such a special man.
‘A man who was loved by everyone in the Islington community, who is remembered as kind, caring and always laughing, but most importantly a father who leaves a devastated family, Lisa, Pauline and their only daughter and best friend Paige, who adored.
Tony had worked at the flower stand on Essex Road since he was 14 and was there rain or shine, a smiling and friendly face to many of us.
‘There have already been hundreds of messages of support for him from everyone who knew and loved him over the years.
“ We now ask for your support in helping us find the person or persons who did this to our family, who took a life so violently and unnecessarily.
“If you have any information, please come forward so that we can bring justice to Tony and his family.”
Many locals paid tribute to Mr. Eastlake at the Islington Community Group on Facebook. Francis O’Brien said: ‘What sad news, my thoughts are with Tony’s family and loved ones.
‘Tony had a kind heart, he served our community for several years and always put a smile on the faces of the people in Islington. He was not just a local businessman, but a friend to many. ‘
James Peppiatt Quicks and Facts
A 21-year-old man was charged today with the murder of flower seller Tony Eastlake on Saturday.
The 55-year-old man was stabbed to death, attacked on Essex Road, Islington and pronounced dead at the scene.
Scotland Yard said James Peppiatt has been charged with murder and has been placed on remand.
The murder suspect will appear in Highbury Corner Magistrates Court tomorrow, the Metropolitan Police said.
Detectives who investigated the murder previously said they believed the suspect and the victim knew each other.