John Breen
Four teenagers appeared in court charged with murder of John Breen at Stratford stationBTP

The trial of four Romanian teenagers accused of battering a man to death at Stratford train station in front of shocked rush hour commuters has got under way at the Old Bailey. John Breen, 53, died of serious head injuries after allegedly being savagely beaten by the gang on Tuesday, 27 October. Witnesses claim violence broke out after a disagreement over an escalator.

On Monday the teenagers - two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old, all of Ilford, east London, and none of whom can be named at present because of their age - attended a preliminary hearing at the court. The boys spoke English in court but a Romanian interpreter was provided for their parents to understand proceedings. The trial continues.

Their appearance came after Breen's family paid tribute to him in a statement, saying: "John's whole family and friends are totally devastated by this mindless act of violence. John was a wonderful son, brother and uncle and will be truly missed by all who knew him."