Men who murdered aspiring lawyer Sven Badzak after Waitrose trip in case of mistaken identity jailed for life | UK News
Two drug dealers who stabbed an aspiring lawyer to death in a case of mistaken identity have been handed life sentences for his murder.
Rashid Gedel and Shiroh Ambersley were among a group of six men who targeted 22-year-old Sven Badzak and his 16-year-old friend in a “gang-style attack” as the victims returned from a trip to Waitrose, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Badzak fell to the ground and was repeatedly stabbed during the incident in Kilburn, northwest London, in February 2021, while the teenager was also stabbed but managed to run to a nearby supermarket for help.
Prosecutor Anthony Orchard KC said neither victim was a gang member or associate but appeared to be the “unfortunate victims of mistaken identity”.
Gedel and Ambersely, both 22, were found guilty last month of murder and wounding with intent.
They were each acquitted of attempted murder of the 16-year-old but both convicted of wounding with intent.
Gedel, from Ilford, was jailed for at least 27 years and Ambersley, from Wembley, was also sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.
Mr Badzak’s mother Jasna, a former Conservative Party activist, attended the trial by video link after it was delayed due to industrial action by barristers last summer.
Following her son’s murder, she shared pictures on Twitter of him as a child with then prime minister Boris Johnson, former chancellor George Osborne, and ex-PM David Cameron, alongside a plea for help.
She thanked jurors for “their hard work and diligence in reaching the rightful verdict of murder” after the defendants were convicted in July.
Ms Badzak also vowed to “fight till the end of her life” to secure “Sven’s law” – to ensure anyone found to be in possession of a knife is handed a mandatory 20 year sentence.
Fatal attack lasted 20 seconds
The court heard Gedel and Ambersley had admitted previously carrying knives and drug dealing in the area.
Gedel had four previous convictions for carrying blades dating back to 2014. On his arrest in March 2021, a hunting knife was seized from his bedroom wardrobe.
Ambersley also had a conviction for possession of a blade, two offences of threatening with an offensive weapon in a public place and affray, and possession of drugs.
They had gone to a bakery looking for other young people to attack minutes before the murder and approached Mr Badzak and his friend as they returned from the Waitrose in Finchley Road.
“Sven Badzak and his friend were wholly unaware of what was about to happen,” Mr Orchard told the jury.
Mr Badzak was stabbed in the chest, dropping his shopping bag as he fled and collapsed, the court heard.
Mr Orchard said the victim was kicked, punched and stabbed four times during the attack, which lasted just 20 seconds.
Both defendants, who were identified on CCTV, admitted being at the scene but denied they were carrying knives that day and claimed they were only there to sell drugs.