Young offender who stabbed teen at knife awareness course convicted of murder

A young offender has been convicted of murder after he stabbed another teenager to death at a knife awareness course.

Vladimir Nachev, 18, attacked Hakim Sillah twice in the chest with a “cruel irony” during the training session, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

Nachev stabbed him in a “rapid sequence of infliction” at Hillingdon Civic Centre in Uxbridge, west London, last November.

Mr Sillah, 18, was taken to Hillingdon Hospital, but died later the same day.

Nachev, of West End Lane in Harlington, Hayes, was convicted of one count of murder and one count of wounding with intent.

Jurors were told the two young men were not friends but had a relationship “resulting from their involvement in the street selling of drugs in and around Hayes”.

Multiple witnesses described how, after arriving at the training session late on 7 November, Nachev immediately “went for” Mr Sillah in “an eruption of violence”.

Judge Pushpinder Saini QC said the witnesses had referred to Nachev as “the aggressor” and “had the better of (Mr Sillah) throughout”.

“This was a very fast moving and violent situation that was over in seconds,” he said.

Nachev claimed his actions at the civic centre were in self-defence, telling a youth worker after the incident that he needed the knife “for my own protection”.

“Vladimir told me ‘they were punching me and filming me that’s why I did it’,” the youth worker said, adding he had been “sobbing and crying” on the phone.

“(He said) they were laughing and taking the mick out of me. I took out the knife. I didn’t want to hurt him, I just wanted him to stop punching me.”

Nachev said he had intended to stab Sillah in the arm, but he had moved and the blade went into his chest instead.

The course, run by the Youth Offending Teams, was for those aged under 18 with a previous offence related to weapons.

All participants at the session had been risk assessed and “those classified as high risk were precluded from attending”, the trial heard.

The court was shown footage of an incident in September where Mr Sillah was threatened and assaulted by an unidentified person.

A second incident happened later that month in which Mr Sillah suffered three stab wounds but said he again could not identify his attacker.

The prosecution alleged Nachev was the assailant both times and his behaviour showed a “hostile” attitude towards Mr Sillah that led to his death.

Nachev is due to be sentenced on 7 September.

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