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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Argument
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 26, 2011
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1986
Victim profile: Alan Smith, 63
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to serve a minimum of 26 years in prison on July 13, 2012

Matthew Quesada stabbed a grandfather to death inside a Leyton cafe when asked if his three year-old daughter was OK.

In 2012, Quesada was ordered to serve a minimum of 26 years for the murder of 63-year-old Alan Smith at the Roma Cafe in Lea Bridge Road in March 2011.

Mr Smith, of Hibbert Road, Walthamstow, was stabbed five times after he asked Quesada whether his daughter, who was crying, was "all right" while they were both in the BB cafe nearby.


Killer obsessed with Bourne trilogy stabbed pensioner to death for asking if his crying daughter was okay before going on run

  • Matthew Quesada, 26, had an 'unhealthy interest' in the thriller films

  • In an east London cafe he snapped at fellow customer Alan Smith, who expressed concern for his daughter, who was crying

  • Quesada returned home and picked up a knife

  • After the rapid attack doctors performed open-heart surgery on Mr Smith in the cafe

July 14, 2012

A killer obsessed with fictional spy Jason Bourne has been jailed for a minimum of 26 years after he stabbed a grandfather to death and went on the run like the Hollywood hero.

Matthew Quesada, 26, developed an ‘unhealthy interest’ in the thriller trilogy and spent hours online researching the combat moves used by star Matt Damon.

He killed retired bus driver Alan Smith at a cafe in front of the 63-year-old’s family after his victim asked if Quesada’s crying daughter was ‘all right’.

Quesada looked ‘smugly’ at his fatally-injured victim and then ran off, aping Bourne’s athleticism by vaulting a series of garden fences.

Police believe he was acting as if he was the spy when he plotted his escape, burning his clothes and shaving his hair.

He researched travelling to Brazil in an internet cafe and had a list of 49 flights to Sao Paulo when police caught him.

Unlike Bourne there was no dramatic car chase - Quesada was arrested in the passenger seat of his mother’s Nissan Micra.

Quesada tried to pretend he was mentally ill to escape responsibility but was convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury last month.

His girlfriend Maria Brigette, also 26, was convicted of assisting an offender by trying to help him avoid detectives investigating the killing, while mother Victoria Passley-Quesada, 54, was cleared of assisting an offender.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Rook QC told Quesada he was guilty of a ‘truly grave crime’.

He said: ‘Your totally unprovoked attack was carried out in front of his long-term partner, son-in-law, and daughter, as well as customers and staff.

‘Mr Smith did no more than get up and ask if the child was all right. Your reaction was wholly unexpected and wholly out of proportion.

‘You carried out a frenzied attack, lunging at him four or five times.

‘He had no chance to take any avoiding action, and nor did anybody else present have any chance to prevent the lethal attack.

‘This dreadful attack took less than a minute. During that minute, you took away from Mr Smith his most precious possession: life itself.

‘His partner, family, and friends have suffered a most terrible loss, and their lives will never be the same again. The toll upon his family has been, and will carry on being, massive.’

Handing Brigette a nine-month jail term, suspended for two years, along with 200 hours of unpaid work, Judge Rook added: ‘You knew at the very least he had been involved in a very serious assault.

‘However, I accept that at that stage you did not appreciate that he had committed a murderous attack, and I also cannot say on the evidence before me that you knew he had a knife.’

Quesada and Mr Smith initially clashed at the BB Cafe in Leyton, east London, of the afternoon on March 26 last year.

Mr Smith, from nearby Walthamstow, and his wife had gone for a meal to celebrate their daughter Estelle’s birthday with her husband, Mark Jenkins.

When he asked about Quesada’s weeping daughter, the killer snapped: ‘What’s it to you? What’s it got to f***ing do with you?’

Enraged, Quesada dropped his daughter off at home and collected a knife.

By the time he returned, Mr Smith and his family were so shaken by the earlier confrontation that they had moved on to the Roma Cafe in Lea Bridge Road.

Prosecutor Roger Smart said: ‘Matthew Quesada entered the cafe soon after the deceased and his family had sat down inside and, without a word, launched into a deadly attack upon Alan Smith - stabbing him to the head, and crucially, to the body.

‘During this frenzied and wordless attack, Quesada stabbed Mr Smith at least five times, causing fatal wounds.’

Mr Smith’s daughter Estelle said: ‘We sat down, and the guy came in. I stood up and he lunged at my dad with a knife.’

She tried to put herself between her father and Quesada while her husband picked up a nearby chair to hit him with, but the fatal attack was over in seconds.

Doctors performed open-heart surgery on a cafe table but Mr Smith died in hospital later that afternoon.

A post-mortem report showed the blade had pierced Mr Smith’s heart and both of his lungs.

His long-term partner Denise Facey said the knifeman was ‘in a frenzy’ as he carried out the killing.

‘He was a lunatic,’ she said.

‘Blood was just pouring and Alan’s head was bleeding - there was blood all over the floor.

‘The worst thing was that, when he left, he didn’t just go running - he stood at the door looking, with a smug look on his face.’

Following the attack, Quesada ran home by jumping over garden fences and burned his clothes, before his mother helped him to shave off his hair and research flights at an internet cafe.

His girlfriend kept him updated on the whereabouts of police in the area by text message.

He was arrested the following day in the passenger seat of his mother’s Nissan Micra, clutching his passport, a change of clothes and a list of flights to Sao Paulo due to depart that evening from Heathrow.

But as officers handcuffed him, the killer, whose previous convictions include assault, threatening behaviour, and criminal damage, told them: ‘Me and my mum were just working out how I was going to hand myself in.’

Detectives later found the murder weapon, wrapped in a blue plastic bag, hidden behind the base panel of a cooker at his home.

Two hunting knives, a sheath knife, pellet gun, pick-axe head, and crossbow were also found in his bedroom, while the charred remains of his clothing had been stuffed in a bag and placed in a cupboard.

Quesada’s uncle, the boxer Patrick Passley, said his nephew had been obsessed with the Bourne spy trilogy for years.

‘He kept on going on about this Bourne Identity,’ he said. ‘He just kept going on and on about it.

‘That’s when I first became concerned about his behaviour. He kept on saying the guy could defend himself and his family. The way he was going on about it was unhealthy. Afterwards, all the time I knew him he kept going on about it.’

Quesada also told him: ‘I want to be in a position I can do that and do all the combat moves and take a knife off somebody. Anybody attacks me, I will be able to sort him out.’

Mr Passley said Quesada used to ‘rant under his own breath’ about people disrespecting his family and in one incident slashed his chest with a kitchen knife in front of his partner and young child.

He said he ‘bottled out’ of calling police because he feared his nephew would be sectioned.

After his arrest, Quesada told psychiatrists he believed Mr Smith was a paedophile.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Samrat Sengupta said his actions were consistent with someone suffering from schizophrenia and other ‘paranoid illnesses’.

Brigette claimed she had no idea about the killing - or about Quesada’s stash of weapons - until their home was raided by police.

Passley-Quesada said she thought her son might have been in trouble with a local gang when he came to her for help.

Quesada, of Hibbert Road, Walthamstow, denied murder.

Brigette, of the same Walthamstow address, and Passley-Quesada, of Lower Barn Road, Purley, south London, both denied assisting an offender.


The victim

Alan Smith



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