Sussex stabbing: Neighbour woken up by ‘screaming and shouting’

A Sussex man who lives next door to where a fatal stabbing took place has described the moment he was woken up by ‘screaming and shouting’.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 12:57 pm

Jon Maxfield lives in Elphick Road, Newhaven, where an 18-year-old man was fatally stabbed on Monday night (January 6).

He has since been named by police as Colin Oliver Wells, known as Ollie. His family have issued a heartfelt tribute to him, describing him as ‘a much loved member of our family’.

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody for interview and further enquiries.

Jon Maxfield. Picture: Peter Cripps

Jon said he was woken up by noise but put it down to ‘two lads having a bit of a boisterous moment’.

“I heard screaming and shouting,” said the 36-year-old.

“I went back to sleep and then I heard a massive thud on the door.

“The next thing there was armed police at the door and that is when I realised the seriousness of it.”

Emergency services at the scene in Newhaven

Jon said he knew the victim well and that it was his 18th birthday only three weeks ago.

“We were all saying that none of us got to go for a beer with him. It is just really sad. It is a waste of life.”

He said he and his neighbours did not know what to think following the tragic incident.

“We all know eachother down this road,” he said, adding: “We can’t figure out what has gone on.”

Colin Oliver Wells, known as Ollie, has been named as the victim of the fatal stabbing in Newhaven on Monday night. Photo: Sussex Police

Five parked vehicles were deliberately set on fire in the early hours of the morning. The flames spread to the frontages of nearby houses in which people were asleep.

“After them fires, and this, I don’t think I will be living here much longer,” he commented.

“I suffer with anxiety and this has made it worse.

A forensics officer at the scene in Newhaven

“There was a stabbing in Newhaven in the summer and we all said the next one was going to be fatal.”

He added that the town needed a regeneration and that police needed to start clamping down on crime.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing, or who has any other information that may help them with their enquiries.

Detective Inspector Simon Dunn of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “This is a tragic incident and we are working to establish the full circumstances. It is already clear that the victim and his alleged assailant are known to each other and we are not currently looking for anyone else suspected of having been involved in the attack itself.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of Ship Street and Elphick Road in the late evening and who may have witnessed an altercation between two individuals.

“Anyone who saw what happened, or who has any other information that they feel would help our enquiries is asked to contact us online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Tamworth.”

Officers at the scene in Newhaven on Monday night. Photo: Dan Jessup

“Ollie’s family are being supported by our specially trained officers and have asked to be left to grieve privately.”

Lewes District Inspector Ed Ripley said: “We are reassuring local residents that the investigation is contained to the location involved and that there is no danger to the wider community.

“Our officers are in the area to advise and assist anyone who has particular concerns on learning of this matter, or who has any information they want to pass on.”