Tributes follow stabbing of north London flower seller

Tributes have flooded in for a flower seller who was stabbed to death close to his stall in north London on Saturday afternoon.

Tony Eastlake, 55, died from a knife wound after being attacked in Islington just before 5.30pm, and despite the efforts of emergency services was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses reported him being involved in “an altercation” with another man before the assault, the Metropolitan police said.

His family said he had been working on his flower stall since he was 14. They said in a statement: “Our hearts are broken for ever 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.”

They continued: “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.”

Eastlake’s family called on anyone who might have information to speak to police. A postmortem is due to take place in the coming days and so far no arrests have been made.

DCI Vicky Tunstall, leading the investigation, said: “We have a dedicated team of officers working round the clock to find the person or people responsible and I would like to hear from anybody who could help our investigation.

“I am particularly keen to hear from people who were in Halliford Road or Ecclesbourne Road between 5.20pm and 5.25pm. Did you see Tony? Or did you witness an altercation, or see anyone running away?”

Tunstall also urged drivers with dashcams who may have been in the area at the time to check their footage. “I would like to hear from those within the community who may have information about why this murder has taken place,” she said. “We are looking at several possible motives and I am keeping an open mind as to the circumstances behind the attack.”

Many people living near Eastlake’s stall paid tribute to him on the Islington Community Group on Facebook. Francis O’Brien said: “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.”

Andres Paniagua Toro said: “The community has lost a great human being who helped many people daily with his beautiful smile and willingness to listen to their woes. Tony would always make me smile every morning on my way to work.”

A vigil has been planned close to Eastlake’s Essex Road stall at 6pm this evening by members of the community, while a GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for his funeral.

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