'My son died in mistaken identity stabbing - Met Police threatened to arrest me'

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Jasna Badzak holding a 2014 photo of her son Sven (Image: PA)
Jasna Badzak holding a 2014 photo of her son Sven (Image: PA)

A mum whose 22-year-old son was stabbed to death in a case of mistaken identity has said the Metropolitan Police threatened to arrest her for "interfering with the investigation".

Jasna Badzak said the way police officers dealt with the stabbing of her son Sven was "horrendous" as she felt they were implying that the young man, an aspiring lawyer, was a gangster. The woman said that it became a "problem" for police to get CCTV and added they were "very reluctant to do that".

Sven and a 16-year-old friend were attacked by a group of six young men in Kilburn, north-west London, on February 6, 2021. Mr Badzak was repeatedly stabbed after falling to the ground, while his friend suffered multiple stab injuries but managed to run into a nearby supermarket for help.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Rashid Gedel, 22, from Ilford, and Shiroh Ambersley, 23, from Wembley, were found guilty of murder. They were each acquitted of attempted murder of the 16-year-old but both convicted of wounding with intent. They were jailed at the Old Bailey for life with a minimum term of 27 years.

'My son died in mistaken identity stabbing - Met Police threatened to arrest me' eidexiqreiqtrinvSven Badzak was killed in February 2021 (LIVERPOOL ECHO)

Anthony Orchard KC, prosecuting, said the victims were targeted in a "gang-style attack" over what the killers regarded as their drugs territory. He told the court previously: "Neither victim was a gang member or associate. It appears they were the unfortunate victims of mistaken identity."

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Ms Badzak, who was previously a protected witness in two trials of war criminals at The Hague after fleeing her native Yugoslavia, previously told The Times: "Putting criminals behind bars in The Hague was a piece of cake compared with dealing with the Metropolitan Police." She described her son as "calm and collected" and said he "never ever had any altercations with anybody who would be involved in something like that", reports MyLondon.

Revealing that she was threatened with arrest for "interfering with the investigation", the mum added: "I was demanding that they arrest the killers and even arresting any one of them, would take at least seven to 10 days." But in his sentencing remarks today, the judge commended the high standards of the investigation. Jasna watched the sentencing online and in a witness statement read out loud, said her son was the "kindest person to walk the earth".

She said: "For me Sven was everything, my reason to live, my only child, more than the apple of my eye, my love, my full support, my best friend." Ms Badzak added: "In the aristocratic but tiny Badzak family dating back since 1168, I am the first female born after 13 generations. Sven was my only child and was the only successor. The world needs more like Sven."

The mother of the 16-year-old said in a witness statement that her son is "suffering mentally with PTSD, night terrors, flashbacks and has withdrawn completely socially". She added: "These people robbed me of my son and have left an empty shell behind, a damaged boy I no longer recognise." She said that since the jury's verdict, a video of drill music has been uploaded online and that they have had to relocate and change their names "due to ongoing threats".

'My son died in mistaken identity stabbing - Met Police threatened to arrest me'Rashid Gedel has been jailed for life
'My son died in mistaken identity stabbing - Met Police threatened to arrest me'Shiroh Ambersley has also been jailed

Melanie Simpson KC, defending Gedel, said the defendant "clearly expressed regret" when giving evidence. She added that he was placed in care at the age of 13 and was in 14 different care placements in the years afterwards.

Brian St Louis KC, defending Ambersley, said: "We suggest the defendant's offending relates to his youth, his lack of maturity and lack of supervision." He added: "He has always expressed to us his deep regret that Mr Badzak died. That was never an intention that he wanted but he accepts the jury's finding in relation to that death."

In a statement shared with The Mirror, the Metropolitan Police said: "An investigation was launched by detectives from the Specialist Crime Command. Diligent and thorough inquiries, focussed mainly on CCTV and mobile phone work, identified the three defendants who were all arrested over the coming weeks. Within five weeks, Gedel and Ambersely had been charged. Canavan was charged in September 2021.

"All were subsequently convicted and jailed in relation to Sven's murder. During their sentencing the judge commended officers for the high standards of the investigation. In February 2022 detectives issued images of two unknown men they wanted to speak to in connection with the murder.

"That appeal still stands and anyone with information which could assist in identifying the two men is asked to call 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 5580/06FEB21. To remain 100% anonymous contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. There are currently three suspects outstanding, including the two men mentioned above. One suspect has been identified as Lior Agbayan, 20 (20.11.2002) who had fled the country before he was identified as a suspect. He left the UK for West Africa, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

"Officers have made a number of arrests, in addition to those charged with Mr Badzak’s murder, the inquiry continues. Officers are determined to bring all those responsible for the death of Sven Badzak to justice."

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