THREE men involved in a Canvey brawl that saw a father of two stabbed to death involved themselves in the altercation ‘for no good reason’, a murder trial heard.

Matt Portwood, 42, died after being stabbed in the neck outside the Haystack Pub in Furtherwick Road in the early hours of Saturday, February 4.

Jamie Lewis, 24, of Bensham Lane, Croydon, Keith Aransibia, 59, of no fixed abode and Keiron Aransibia, 28, of Evelyn Denington Road, London, E6, have been charged with murder.

The men appeared in Basildon Crown Court as the trial opened on September 12.

Cyrus Shroff, prosecuting, said: “The crown says Mr Lewis is the man who struck the fatal blow to the neck.

“Keith Aransibia stands accused of murder as the crown say he commenced the attack on others, recruited Jamie Lewis and each of them intended to cause serious injury.

“All three defendants without any good reason embroiled themselves in the altercation outside The Haystack Pub which started as a brawl with the doorman and another group entirely uninvolved with them.”

The court was told the defendants arrived at the pub in the late hours of Friday, February 3, and Mr Portwood, who worked as a doorman at the Haystack previously, was also there that night as a customer.

Just after 1am on February 4, another group was denied entry to the pub which had a curfew of 1am.

A member of the group took umbrage with this and began arguing with the doorman, which attracted the attention of Mr Portwood who tried to defuse the situation, the trial heard.

At 1.25am the group was joined by the defendants and after a ‘gesticulation’ by Keith, Jamie re-enters the pub, leaving Keiron and Keith outside.

A witness noted one of the men from the "refused entry group" stopped arguing and was followed by Keiron who "started another argument".


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Mr Shroff added: “The crown says Keiron Aransibia threw the first punch at 1.27 with Keith following.

"Keith then re-entered the bar and made a ‘beeline’ for Mr Lewis who joined the fight."

Another witness said Jamie Lewis appeared to make ‘unusual movements’ in his trousers as if he was ‘searching for something’.

The ‘denied entry group’ eventually got in their car and left but the defendants continued the altercation with the doormen and Mr Portwood.

Mr Shroff added: “No one saw the exact moment when Mr Portwood was stabbed but witnesses including doormen said the only person who could have stabbed him was Mr Lewis.”

Mr Portwood was pronounced dead at 2.44am.

The hearing continues.