Family of stabbing victim ‘outraged’ as trial delayed by barristers’ strike

·2-min read

An aspiring lawyer’s family has been left “distraught” after the trial of three men accused of his murder was put off for nearly a year amid strike action.

Sven Badzak, 22, was attacked in Kilburn, north-west London, on February 6 2021 in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.

Mr Badzak, from Maida Hill, west London, was repeatedly stabbed after falling to the ground, while a 16-year-old boy also suffered multiple stab injuries but escaped into a shop in Willesden Lane.

Mr Badzak’s mother Jasna, a former Conservative Party activist, had previously said her son had gone to a shop to get orange juice and then to a bagel shop when he was attacked.

Rashid Gedel, 21, from Ilford, Shiroh Ambersley, 22, from Wembley, and Harvey Canavan, 18, of Maida Vale, were charged with murder, attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent.

The three defendants had spent 16 months in custody ahead of their scheduled four-week trial, which had been due to start last week at the Old Bailey.

It was initially postponed for a week due to Criminal Bar Association industrial action.

The court heard further trial interruptions were expected, also due in part to defence barristers’ “no returns” policy and pre-booked holidays.

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC told the court: “The victims and their families appear to have been forgotten.

“They are distraught at the thought of having to wait yet longer for resolution and finality. Potentially 10 to 11 months.

“They have great feelings of frustration and outrage. They understand Covid and the delays, but enough is enough.”

Judge Neil Flewitt QC said it would not be “fair” to the defendants or jury to continue with a trial knowing it would be interrupted for weeks.

He said: “I am satisfied, and all defendants’ counsel agree, it would not be fair for the defendants or the jury to start a trial knowing it would be interrupted in that way. I shall therefore adjourn the trial and refix for June 5 2023.

“I should like to make it clear counsel cannot be criticised for booking their holidays when they did because if the trial started when planned it would have been concluded in the time to allow holidays.”

He added that the prosecution had acted with “all due diligence and expedition” in the case.

The judge said that if an earlier date could be found at another court, the case could be brought forward.

The delay will also come as a disappointment to the defendants, who were further remanded into custody.

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