Beniamin Pieknyi ‘died 15 seconds after he was stabbed in fight lasting four minutes’
PUBLISHED: 17:36 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:57 04 October 2018
A takeaway worker died 15 seconds after being stabbed during a fight in Stratford which had last under four minutes, a court heard today.
Beniamin Pieknyi, 21, was killed when he was knifed in the chest during the brawl inside Stratford Centre on March 20 this year.
The Old Bailey were told his death was the result of an argument which escalated into a fight in three minutes and 55 seconds.
Alexis Varela, 19, of Lilechurch Road, Dagenham, Moses Kasule, 20, of Ribbons Walk, Stratford, Kevin Duarte, 19, of no fixed address, and Mario Zvavame, 18, of Crow Lane, Romford, all deny charges of manslaughter and violent disorder.
Pavlos Panayi, speaking for the defence, said: “Events lasting 235 seconds led to Benji’s death.
“What had been a peaceful, ordinary evening in a shopping centre in east London had been transformed into a crime scene.
“The men and women who went to Poundland, McDonald’s or Sainsbury’s to do their weekly shop became bystanders of shocking violence.
“It took 15 seconds for a man to die, lying bleeding on the ground.
“It beggars belief that it went from day-to-day peace to a man bleeding his life’s blood into the carpet of a shopping centre.”
Mr Pieknyi lived in Milton Keynes and had been in the UK for three months after arriving from Romania.
He had met up with his friend Alexander Suciu, 25, just before 9.30pm when they were approached by Mr Varela riding a bike with Mr Duarte on the handlebars.
While Mr Pieknyi entered Poundland to buy drinks, the riders approached Mr Suciu again. CCTV footage shows him approach the figures on the bike, who dismount.
A fight broke out soon after between the whole group, with Mr Pieknyi leaving Poundland to come to his friend’s aid.
A security guard arrived to break up the brawl, which continued further down the shopping centre, outside Subway, where Mr Pieknyi was stabbed.
“This was a group of teenagers, larking around, and frankly, being idiots,” Mr Panayi said.
“Nothing will bring Beniamin back.”
Vlayslav Yakymchuk, 23, a Ukrainian national of no fixed address, has pleaded guilty to Mr Pieknyi’s murder.
The trial continues.