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'We're leaving Britain because London is too dangerous': Family of 21-year-old Romanian


The family of a Romanian man stabbed to death just three weeks after moving to Britain has returned home because they believe it is less violent than in London where 'if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person you could end up dead', Daily Mail reported

Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, was walking through the Stratford Centre in East London when he was chased and stabbed during an unprovoked attack in March by five thugs who were 'hell-bent on causing trouble', according to police.

The victim's sister, Iulia, who lived with Mr Pieknyi in Milton Keynes shortly after he came to the UK earlier this year, said the tragedy had altered her view of life in the capital.

'I've come to realise that terrible things can happen in the blink of an eye, and if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person you could end up dead,' she told the BBC.

Her comments comes as three people fight for their lives after separate stabbings across London in 24 hours as officers also launched a murder probe in Birmingham.

Mr Pieknyi (right) had been living in Milton Keynes with his brother Mihael and sister Iulia (both pictured in an undated image)

Yesterday, stabbing deaths in the UK hit 250 this year, with five of those murders coming in the past seven days in London alone.

This has increased the number of murder investigations in London to 119 this year. Mr Pieknyi was the 42nd to die in a wave of violence that Mayor Sadiq Khan recently warned would take 'a decade' to stem.

The three killers were today jailed for almost 50 years in total. Ukrainian Valdyslav Yakymchuk, 23, who had been in the UK for just two years, admitted murder.

He pulled a huge knife from his waistband and plunged it into Mr Pieknyi's chest despite onlookers begging him to back off.

Five men are still due to be sentenced for their roles in Mr Pieknyi's death, including Vladyslav Yakymchuk, 23, who pleaded guilty to murder. He is seen in an undated mug shot

Yakymchuk was arrested four days later while shoplifting in Harrods and has now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years.

Kevin Duarte, 19, and Moses Kasule, 20, were found guilty of manslaughter and violent disorder by an Old Bailey jury after a four-week trial and each sentenced to 12 years.

Alexis Gabriel Da Costa Varela and Mario Zvavamwe, both 19, were convicted of violent disorder and handed sentences of 40 months and 30 months respectively

Mr Pieknyi worked at a takeaway with his brother, and on March 20 had done a half day so he could travel to Stratford, just yards from the site of the London 2012 Olympics, to meet up with his friend Alexander Suciu, 25.

CCTV from the Centre at the time showed Yakymchuk - as well as Alexis Varela, 19, Kevin Duarte, 19, Moses Kasule, 20, and 18-year-old Mario Zvavamwe - hassling random members of the public.

The incident began when Varela, who was riding a bicycle with Duarte on the handlebars, came across Mr Suciu and hit him on the head, entirely unprovoked.

Varela and Duarte then left before coming back a few minutes later shouting 'this is our area' and a row began.

The two thugs were joined by the three other members of their group and immediately set on Mr Suciu and Mr Pieknyi, who by this time had come out of the shop.

As well as leaving mine-workers out of work, the closures had a knock-on effect on suppliers of equipment and services, spreading the economic malaise.

Recently the local economy has grown more diverse, with renewed investment in sectors including forestry and tourism.

The city's last remaining active mine is the Lupeni Coal Mine, managed by the National Hard Coal Company.

The local coal mines of Lupeni used to employ thousands, and their closure left many out of work. Pictured: A retired miner in the city in 2007

Yakymchuk stole Mr Pieknyi's bottle of water and Mr Suciu’s glasses before Kasule began throwing punches. As the rest of the group goaded the two Romanians, a security guard came to try and take them to safety.

At this point, Yakymchuk pulled a knife and the thugs began chasing the pair, before cornering Mr Pieknyi in a Subway branch. There, he was beaten and punched before Yakymchuk stabbed him in the chest.

As the attackers fled, Mr Pieknyi lay fatally injured and died at the scene around an hour later, despite the efforts of paramedics and onlookers. His cause of death was given as a stab wound to the heart.

The 21-year-old's body was flown back to Romania, where his family held a funeral on May 27.

In a victim impact statement, his aunt Cristina described her nephew as a 'very quiet boy, hardworking and someone who liked to help people'. She stood in for the family at the Old Bailey because the others could not afford to attend.

Duarte was convicted of manslaughter and violent disorder while Varela and Zvavamwe were both found guilty of violent disorder.

Kasule was convicted of manslaughter and violent disorder.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Ian Titterrell, said: 'Beniamin and his friend were two entirely innocent friends who had arranged to meet and catch up with each other.

'They had every right to go about socialising with each other in peace and had done nothing at all to deserve the ire of their aggressors.'

'These convictions will, I'm sure, do little to quell the pain Beniamin's family have endured. I hope however that they will derive some small comfort from knowing that justice has been done.'

It comes as three people are fighting for their lives after separate stabbings across London over 24 hours as officers also launched a murder probe in Birmingham.

Culled from Daily Mail

My view: Mayor Sadiq Khan is not doing enough to solve the crime problem in London, he can't just simply say 'Solving knife crime in London will take a decade', he's too weak.

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