A young offender who stabbed a man to death at a knife awareness course in west London has been found guilty of his murder.
Hakim Sillah, 18, was stabbed twice in the chest at the Hillingdon Civic Centre in Uxbridge on 7 November 2019.
Vladimir Nachev, 18, of West End Lane, Harlington, Hayes, claimed he had taken the weapon for “protection” but a jury at Isleworth Crown Court found him guilty of murder.
He will be sentenced on 7 September.
The training course was being run by Youth Offending Teams (YOTS) and was intended for those aged under 18 who had a previous offence related to weapons.
All those attending had been subject to a risk assessment and “those classified as high risk were precluded from attending”, prosecutor Michelle Nelson QC told the court.
Jurors heard the men were not friends but had a relationship “resulting from their involvement in the street selling of drugs in and around Hayes”.
They were shown footage of two assaults in September last year, during which Mr Sillah was threatened and stabbed three times by an unidentified attacker.
The prosecution claimed Nachev had been the assailant on both occasions and that his behaviour demonstrated a “hostile” attitude towards Mr Sillah that led to his death.
Witnesses told the court that after the defendant arrived late for the course, he immediately “went for” Mr Sillah in “an eruption of violence”.
Nachev claimed his actions were in self-defence, telling a youth worker others at the course “were laughing and taking the mick out of me” and he had taken the knife “for my own protection”.
He claimed he had intended to stab Mr Sillah in the arm, but the victim had moved and the blade had gone into his chest instead.
The jury took just over three hours to find him guilty of murder and one count of wounding with intent.