Beniamin Pieknyi killing: Defendants from Dagenham, Stratford and Romford in the dock

Beniamin Pieknyi was stabbed in the Stratford Centre in March. Picture: Met Police

Beniamin Pieknyi was stabbed in the Stratford Centre in March. Picture: Met Police - Credit: MPS

A witness in the Beniamin Pieknyi murder trial told the court today he’d pleaded with the alleged attacker, telling him “it’s not worth it”.

Mr Pieknyi, 21, was visiting a friend at the Stratford centre on March 20 when he was fatally stabbed.

Alexis Varela, 19, of Lillechurch Road, Dagenham, Moses Kasule, 20, of Ribbons Walk, Stratford, Kevin Duarte, 19, of no fixed address, and Mario Zvavame, 18, of Crow Lane, Romford, have denied charges of manslaughter and violent disorder.

At the Old Bailey, the court heard how Mr Pieknyi was with his friend Alexander Suciu, 25, in the shopping centre just before 9.30pm. Mr Suciu was approached by Mr Varela riding a bike with Mr Duarte on the handlebars. The bike drove past him again shortly after, with one of the men appearing to touch him on the head.

The figures on the bike approached Mr Sucia a final time while he was standing outside Poundland, waiting for Beniamin to buy drinks. CCTV footage shows Mr Sucia approach the men on the bike, who dismount, and are joined by three others.

A fight broke out between the men, with Mr Pieknyi leaving Poundland to come to his friend’s aid. Footage shows Mr Yakymchuk taking Mr Suciu’s glasses, before a security guard arrives to break up the fight.

A witness, who was walking through the centre after collecting a bottle of rum from a friend, described to the court seeing the men fighting in a “scrum”.

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He said: “It was a cluster of people.

“I heard a lot of swearing. I said to them, ‘stop it, it’s not worth it’.

“I’m sick of kids wasting their lives.”

The men moved towards Subway, at the entrance of the Stratford centre, where CCTV appears to show Mr Yakymchuk producing an object from his trousers. Mr Pieknyi is injured and the group of men run away, leaving Mr Suciu with his friend.

Mr Pieknyi, a takeaway worker from Romania who’d come to England just months before, was pronounced dead an hour later. He died from a stab wound to his chest.

Vlayslav Yakymchuk, 23, has pleaded guilty to Mr Pieknyi’s murder.

The trial continues.