Court hears teenager accused of killing Neasden chef bragged he would ‘bust’ the murder charge
Youth gives evidence anonymously behind a witness screen
A teenager bragged he was going to ‘bust’ a murder charge after joining a gang mugging in which a Neasden chef was stabbed through the heart, a court heard.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke candidly about the killing on his estate after being released on bail following his arrest, the Old Bailey heard.
Krzysztof Rusek was knifed through the heart after four attackers demanded cash from him and friends as they walked home on June 7, it is said.
The hotel chef was killed for just �12 as he celebrated his 30th birthday, his friend escaped serious injury when a blade hit bank cards in his wallet.
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Giving evidence from behind a screen, the witness said he heard the 16-year-old telling pals he was ‘going to bust the M charge.’
John Aspinall QC, defending the youth, pressed the anonymous witness on whether he could have confused what he heard with news reports of the murder.
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He asked: “The fact that the murder had taken place was common knowledge amongst those who you associate with?’
Mr 197 said: “Yes”
Mr Aspinall continued: “It was on TV? Radio? Newspapers?”
Mr 197 replied: “No - if it was I didn’t know about it.”
Aspinall: “But by the time that conversation took place, you already had knowledge of the murder?”
Mr 197: “Yes - from other people. Not TV or radio.”
Defence counsel have been prevented from knowing the witnesses true identity, or even the date that the conversation allegedly took place, in order to protect him from reprisals.
The 16-year-old, joined by Ruairi Bicknell, 18, and two 17-year-olds, are charged with murder.
Bicknell from West Kensington, the two 17-year-old boys, and the 16-year-old boy, also all of West Kensington, deny murder.
The trial continues.