Trial starts of four teenagers accused of killing Neasden chef in Fulham

Victim was stabbed to death as he celebrated his 30th birthday

A Neasden chef was stabbed to death as he celebrated his 30th birthday with his girlfriend by a gang of teenage muggers, a court heard.

Krzysztof Rusek was knifed through the heart after the four attackers demanded cash from him and his friends as they walked home through a park in Fulham on June 7 last year.

The Old Bailey were told the Polish national died in hospital four hours later from massive internal bleeding, while another colleague was saved by chance when a blade hit bank cards in his wallet.

Ruairi Bicknell and Akeen Salako, both 18, along with two 17-year-olds, who cannot be named for legal reason, fled the scene in different directions before allegedly changing their clothes following the attack.

The gang had been prowling the park ‘looking for victims’ when they targeted Mr Rusek, said prosecutor Simon Denison QC.

He said: “They were all hooded, they were all carrying knives, and they were all intent on using those knives to commit robberies together.

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“The defendants took one victim each - knives out, pointing the knives at them - demanding money.

“One of Mr Rusek’s group handed over all the cash that he had - a little over �12 in coins.

“We don’t know what Krzysztof Rusek tried to resist or if he did nothing.

“He is no longer alive to tell us what happened, and the others didn’t see it.”

Bicknell and Salako will admit they were present at the scene but will claim they did not take part in the robbery or know their companions had knives, the court heard.

The other two youths are to argue that they were not at the scene.

The four accused, all from west Kensington, deny murder.

The trial continues.