A man who murdered a delivery driver in Finsbury Park, London, before fleeing the country has been sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in jail.
Nathan Smith, 28, from London, was jailed for life after being convicted of murdering 30-year-old Takieddine “Taki” Boudhane.
The day after the murder, Smith fled the UK and initially travelled to Austria, where he remained in hiding for more than a year.
He was placed on Europol’s Most Wanted Fugitives list and was located in Portugal and arrived back in London on June 3, 2021, when he was charged with murder.
Taki’s mum, Sadie Boudhane, said their family will now always have a “missing piece.”
“It is hard to find the words to explain the impact my son’s murder has had on our family but I will try,” she said. “Whilst our son was still lying in the street, this man had already started planning his escape from the country.
“He would not accept responsibility for taking Taki’s life, and because of this our family had to endure another 17 months of questioning. Why was he taken from us? Who would do such a terrible thing?
“Both mine and my husband’s health suffered as a result of the stress of losing our son, and the protracted police investigation. My husband then passed away before he could see justice passed on our son’s murderer.
“This man continued to torment my family by refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. He made us endure a crown court trial where my son watched his brother’s murder frame by frame day after day as the CCTV was played and analysed. Even then he claimed he felt like he was the victim and showed no remorse towards my family. Not once did he say he was sorry for what he had done, only that he suffered PTSD whilst on the run: On the run because of his own actions, on the run for murdering my child.”
Taki, an Algerian national living in Enfield, was working as a delivery driver in Finsbury Park on his motorbike on January 3, 2020 when he had an altercation with Smith, who was in a white van, about the nature of his driving.
CCTV shows that as Taki got off his moped on Lennox Road, Smith emerged from the van with a knife in his hand and ran towards him where the argument continued.
At one point, it appeared the incident was over as Smith walked back towards his van and Taki towards his moped. However Smith then ran at speed towards Taki, who tried to flee. On several occasions, he used his crash helmet to try and defend himself from Smith, who was coming at him with a knife.
Taki was fatally stabbed in the chest and although managed to chase Smith towards his van, quickly collapsed on the street. Despite the efforts of emergency services, he died at the scene shortly afterwards.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, who led the investigation, said: “It is heartbreaking to see and hear the pain that this senseless murder has caused those who loved Taki. They have shown great strength in coming to court every day during what has undoubtedly been the most painful time of their lives.
“Smith is clearly an extremely dangerous individual and we are pleased he is now off our streets, unable to cause further harm.”