Tuesday 16 January 2018

Irishman killed in Sydney restaurant while on first date 'by his date's former partner'

Keith Collins. Source: Facebook
Keith Collins. Source: Facebook
Jovi Pilapil. Picture: Facebook
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

AN IRISHMAN has been stabbed and killed while on what is believed to have been a first date at a Sydney restaurant.

The man, named in local media as Keith Collins (53), was stabbed in the neck and chest while his date Jovi Pilapil was also injured. Her ex-husband is the chief suspect.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Mr Collins, a father who lived in Terrigal on the Central Coast but believed to be originally from Dublin, died at the scene at Kangam BBQ restaurant in Westfield Hornsby.

Mr Collins daughter Aisling wrote on Facebook: "I love you more than anything dad, I'll forever be your girl no matter what."

Another relative Audrey Jenkins took to social media today. She wrote: "Love you big bro. Please, please be at peace now. Xxxx" 

Ms Pilapil was able to run away and hide in an upstairs shop, where she collapsed.

It is believed that the pair had arranged the meal after meeting on a dating website.

The newspaper is reporting that they were stabbed by a man believed to be Ms Pilapil’s ex-husband, Alexander Villaluna.

Witnesses said the alleged attacker calmly walked up and down the shopping centre's concourse, covered in blood and with the 20-centimetre knife in his hand.

After about 15 minutes, a female police officer with her Taser drawn apprehended Mr Villaluna, who had walked back inside the Korean BBQ restaurant and surrendered without incident.


A witness said the alleged attacker appeared "eerily calm" as he paced up and down.

"It's almost like it was an out-of-body experience for him," he said. "He probably sat down wondering what to do. He was eerily calm as though it didn't really matter."

Detective Acting Superintendent Damian Henry told reporters the relationship between the three people will form part of the police inquiry.

"We're yet to establish if there's a domestic relationship between the three parties," he said.

"We believe that there might be a domestic relationship between the female and the (charged man)."

Superintendent Henry said the 38-year-old woman was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital with a punctured sternum and was expected to have surgery.

One witness to the attack said."The guy jumped over the counter and stabbed him with a glass bottle. He got two in the neck and two in the stomach and he, like, dropped."

It has yet to be confirmed if a knife or bottle was used in the attack and a number of items were taken from the scene for forensic examination.

Mobile phone footage from diners and other shoppers in the centre will also be scoured as part of the investigation.

Footage of the suspect being arrested shows a Taser-wielding officer demanding the man drop a backpack and kneel on the ground before being handcuffed.

The 44-year-old man was arrested nearby and was taken to Hornsby Police Station where he was charged with murder and attempted murder.

He was refused bail and chose not to appear when his case was heard before Hornsby Local Court.

He will face court again in May.

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