Russian dies in stabbing horror

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A 48-YEAR-OLD man accused of murdering a Russian man by stabbing him in the heart has appeared in court and been remanded in custody.

Mark Watson, of no fixed address, is accused of killing Alexandre Sokolnikov, also an Eastbourne man of no fixed address, in Ceylon Place at around 9pm on Monday (February 21).

Watson appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday) morning and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

He had previously been admitted to Eastbourne DGH after the incident and was under police guard before being discharged and taken to Eastbourne custody centre where he was interviewed and charged with murder on Wednesday.

He had severe facial bruising and cuts when he appeared in the dock. Magistrates remanded him in custody and he will next appear at Lewes Crown Court on Monday (February 28).

Watson is alleged to have stabbed Mr Sokolnikov, 39, in the heart after a confrontation in a Ceylon Place flat spilled out into the street.

A resident called 999 after seeing Mr Sokolnikov lying in the road. He died a short while later from knife wounds, despite the efforts of paramedics.

Neighbour Mamadu Bakde, a 32-year-old eye-witness, said, “He was lying on the pavement and paramedics were trying to resuscitate him. There was a lot of police and ambulances here on the night but I didn’t hear any shouting or anything because I have double glazed windows.

“It is very concerning.”

Cordons were put in place as scene of crime officers carried out house-to-house inquiries and searched the area.

Some residents raised concerns about the safety of the town centre street but Eastbourne’s District Commander Jayne Dando said, “I know there are some concerns regarding community safety following the tragic incident in Ceylon Place where a 39-year-old male lost his life.

“Police are actively progressing a number of enquiries, and are not looking for any other persons connected to this incident.

“Scenes of crime investigations are continuing, and a police presence will be maintained in the area for the forthcoming days.

“Our neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs will continue to provide reassurance patrols in and around our town centre community.”

Another resident, 46-year-old Janette Calverley, who lives further down from the scene of the incident, said, “There are a lot of houses of multiple occupancy in this road.

“But mainly, as far as I’m aware, they are lived in by long-term tenants and normally we are quite a happy street.”

Did you know Mr Sokolnikov? Contact reporter Juliet Perry on 0414484 or email juliet.perry@trbeckett.co.uk.