A young offender who stabbed another teenager to death at a knife awareness course has been jailed for life.
Vladimir Nachev, 18, launched a ‘brutal’ attack on Hakim Sillah, 18, at a west London community centre, stabbing him several times with a ‘Rambo’ knife.
Hakim was rushed to hospital but he could not be saved and died hours later.
A court heard how the training course at the Hillingdon Civic centre in Uxbridge, was for youngsters who had a previous weapons offence, and that risk assessments had been carried out on all those who attended.
Nachev claimed his actions were in self-defence, but was found guilty of murder in August.
Judge Pushpinder Saini QC said Mr Sillah’s death had followed an ‘unprovoked attack of exceptional violence’.
Sentencing Nachev, Judge Saini said: ‘Having been dropped off by car by his mother Hakim was early for the session.
‘You came to the course carrying a concealed Rambo knife.
‘The cruel irony of the fact you took with you, and used, this weapon on a course which was intended to give you an awareness of weapons hardly needs stating.
‘Hakim had done nothing and said nothing to cause you to attack him.
‘Having murdered Hakim you calmly left the centre, concealing the weapon in your trousers… you were clearly distressed about what you had done.’
Judge Saini added: ‘You have an obsession with knives… and with drill rap lyrics, some of which you compose, which extol the virtues of using knives as part of what is clearly a misguided macho gang culture.’
Nachev, who was dressed in a black shirt and grey tie, smirked as he received his sentence, provoking emotional responses from Mr Sillah’s family and friends in the courtroom.
Judge Saini paid tribute to the ‘great bravery’ shown by Mr Sillah’s mother, Saranbah Sillah, and his 14-year old sister, Sally, who both read out victim impact statements in person.
‘Hakim was my first son and he was my friend, he was my companion,’ said Ms Sillah.
‘10 days from now he would have been 19-years old and he was waiting so much for this time in his life.
‘We had so much fun and he was such a pleasure to be around. As a mum I looked up to him, we talked about everything.
‘This is a heavy burden for me to carry, and one that I will carry for the rest of my life.’
She added that Mr Sillah had played a ‘major role’ within his family and had shared an ‘unbreakable bond’ with his younger siblings.
In her own statement Mr Sillah’s 14-year-old sister, Sally, said the incident had affected her in an ‘indescribable way,’ adding she could ‘barely function without him’.
‘You don’t know Hakim, my big brother, my protector,’ she said. ‘The day I found out, everything stopped.
‘This was my biggest fear in my heart, losing a family member. It feels like there’s something missing.
‘My family always say Hakim couldn’t function without me. Now I can barely function without him.’
Nachev, of West End Lane, Harlington, Hayes, must serve a minimum sentence of 18 years before being considered for parole.
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