Korean restaurant Soho: Chef, 60, ‘co-worker stabbed to death after row explosion’

Chef, 60, ‘stabbed a colleague to death at a Korean Soho restaurant after the row exploded when he accused the victim, 58, of improperly preparing food’

  • Li Hunan, 60, is charged with the murder of Il Sung, 58, in the Soho kitchen
  • It is alleged that the defendant questioned Mr. Sung’s skills as a leader before the fight
  • Court heard he had a knife used to prepare food while the victim had a knife sharpener
  • Believed to be a Chinese national, Hunan has not pleaded guilty yet.

A chef appeared in court today charged with stabbing a colleague to death in a row at a Korean restaurant in Soho.

Li Hunan allegedly murdered Il Sung after the two men argued over how the victim prepared food, with the accused questioning his skills as a chef.

A court today heard the 60-year-old, believed to be a Chinese national, allegedly hit Mr Sung, who had a knife sharpener, with a knife he used to prepare food when they were in the kitchen.

The 58-year-old, from Southwark, south London, was pronounced dead in Poland Street, a side road near Oxford Street in central London at 12.20pm on Monday August 15.

Police were alerted at 11:40 a.m. and found the victim collapsed in the kitchen of the restaurant, believed to be called Arirang Korean, with two fatal stab wounds to the chest as well as slash wounds, including one to the face.

Pictured: Police arrest a man whose ‘colleague’ was stabbed to death on Monday at a Korean restaurant on a side road of Oxford Street in the heart of London’s West End

Both the victim and the man accused of the Poland St murder allegedly worked at the Korean restaurant Arirang, according to police sources.  Pictured: A man arrested in connection with the murder of a man stabbed to death off Oxford Street

Both the victim and the man accused of the Poland St murder allegedly worked at the Korean restaurant Arirang, according to police sources. Pictured: A man arrested in connection with the murder of a man stabbed to death off Oxford Street

A man was stabbed to death at a Korean restaurant on a side street of Oxford Street in the heart of London's West End on Monday, much to the annoyance of passers-by.  Pictured: Police cordon off Poland Street

A man was stabbed to death at a Korean restaurant on a side street of Oxford Street in the heart of London’s West End on Monday, much to the annoyance of passers-by. Pictured: Police cordon off Poland Street

Armed police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street, Soho (location pictured), shortly before midday on Monday, and found a man with stab wounds, much to the horror of passing shoppers

Armed police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street, Soho (location pictured), shortly before midday on Monday, and found a man with stab wounds, much to the horror of passing shoppers

Armed police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street, Soho, shortly before noon, and found a man with stab wounds.  Pictured, forensics at the scene

Armed police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street, Soho, shortly before noon, and found a man with stab wounds. Pictured, forensics at the scene

Hunan showed up at the Old Bailey on Friday, assisted by a Korean interpreter, and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

“Mr. Sung had been working at the restaurant for three weeks,” said Dickon Reid, prosecuting. “On the morning of the murder, he and the accused were preparing food.

“During the three weeks that Mr. Sung worked there, the defendant questioned his skills as a leader.”

According to another restaurant worker, the couple started arguing in Korean and Mr. Sung asked, “Why can’t you be nice?”

The witness said the two men were “into each other” and started fighting.

Police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street (seen to the left of the first white van) shortly before noon on Monday

Police and ambulance services rushed to the Arirang restaurant on Poland Street (seen to the left of the first white van) shortly before noon on Monday

A police officer stands guard near the scene of the knife attack, which happened on Poland Street shortly before noon on Monday

A police officer stands guard near the scene of the knife attack, which happened on Poland Street shortly before noon on Monday

At one point, the victim struck Li with a knife sharpener, in the shoulder and temple, Mr Reid said.

According to the witness, Hunan became “more and more angry” as he turned to Mr. Sung with the kitchen knife in his hand.

Police then arrived at the restaurant and found the victim collapsed in the kitchen.

Mr Sung was pronounced dead at 12:20 p.m., the court heard.

Li told police he was attacked by Mr. Sung and “in response he stabbed him,” the prosecutor said.

A post-mortem examination revealed that a preliminary cause of death was severe trauma to the chest.

Judge Philip Katz has set a timetable for the case with a November 4 plea hearing.

The defendant, of no fixed abode, was taken into custody.

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