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Khan’s London: Romanian Family Leaves Britain After Gang Murders Son, Capital ‘Too Dangerous’

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Ian Waldie/Getty

A family from Romania have left Britain after one of them was murdered in Sadiq Khan’s London, saying the city is “too dangerous”.

Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, and a friend were targeted randomly by a multi-racial gang led by Ukrainian migrant Valdyslav Yakymchuk — who had been in the country for only two years — in the Stratford Centre.

CCTV footage shows the gang had been harassing members of the public for some time when they came across Beniamin and his friend, and began goading them, throwing punches, stealing a water bottle from Beniamin and taking his friend’s glasses.

The pair were ushered away by a security guard, but the gang pursued them, cornering him in a Subway restaurant and administering a savage beating before Yakymchuk produced a long blade and stabbed him in the heart.

The incident prompted Beniamin’s family to return to their comparatively poor homeland, with his sister Iulia Pieknyi commenting that the crime-ridden British capital has become a place where “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.”

“Since the day of 20 March 2018, is not feeling like a human anymore,” said Beniamin’s mother Irina in a statement.

“It’s not easy bringing [children] up and giving them an education. It’s so unfair that one of them was taken away and part of my heart was taken with him. The pain I feel since that day will stay with me forever. I am asking if the ones who did this are even aware that their actions have destroyed a family?” she asked.

“Who’s given them the right to take away my son’s life? Are they aware of the pain, the tears and destruction they left behind? Are they aware that our family is not the same as before and will never be whole again? I’m at a loss. I have no words to describe how I feel. What made them do this to my son? I cannot find the strength to face them and it’s breaking my heart.”

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Ian Titterrell claimed the sentences handed down to the gang for the killings were a “reflection of the devastation and upset that has been caused so needlessly to Beniamin’s family”, but they were not particularly long.

Yakymchuk should serve 24 years for the killing, meaning he will only be in his fifties on release. Two accomplices, Kevin Duarte and Moses Kasule, will serve only twelve years each for manslaughter, while another two, Alexis Varela and Mario Zvavamwe, will receive just 40 months and 30 months, respectively, for “violent disorder” — and likely be eligible for automatic release on licence halfway or two-thirds of the way through their terms.

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