Plumber jailed for life over murder of Deliveroo driver in road rage attack

A plumber has been jailed for life for the murder of a Deliveroo driver, in a road rage attack that was caught on CCTV.

Nathan Smith, 28, swung out with a knife and stabbed part-time delivery moped rider Takieddine Boudhane, 30, on the evening of 3 January 2020 after an incident in Finsbury Park, north London.

He went on the run the day after the murder, leaving Mr Boudhane's family to endure 17 months of "torment" and "limbo" as he refused to accept responsibility before being forced to face a jury trial, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Boudhane's father died before the trial and did not live to see justice served.

Smith has been told he must spend at least 21 years in prison.

He was in a white VW Caddy van when moped rider Mr Boudhane had made a right turn, before the fatal confrontation.

Mr Boudhane, a chef, had become upset at the manoeuvre and words were exchanged, prosecutor Julian Evans QC had told jurors.

The situation escalated as Smith emerged from his van in Charteris Road with a knife in hand.

Describing CCTV footage of the incident, the prosecutor said: "As Smith ran towards him, Takieddine swung his crash helmet towards Smith. This action, again say the prosecution, was defensive.

"As Smith stepped onto the pavement, he ducked below the swinging crash helmet, and swung his knife twice, in quick succession, towards Takieddine's upper body.

"It is the prosecution's case that one of those two rapid blows with the knife, each delivered with force, entered Takieddine's chest."

Smith spent 17 months on run in Europe

Despite suffering a 7.5cm wound, Mr Boudhane ran after Smith and hit the side of the van with his crash helmet as he drove off, the court heard.

Mr Boudhane then collapsed on the ground. Despite the efforts of medics at the scene, he died at 7.42pm.

Smith fled the country using his brother's passport and bank card.

When police searched for him at his parents' address, the defendant's father showed them a video believed to be from his son featuring views of lakes and mountains.

Police went on to recover Smith's van and found bloodstains matching the victim's DNA.

In February 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for Smith, who returned to the UK after 17 months on the run in Europe.

During his trial, Smith claimed he had acted "defensively" after the victim produced a screwdriver.

Judge Mark Lucraft QC, sentencing, said Smith, of Archway, north London, had been "aggressive throughout" the attack and had swung at his victim at least five times.

The attack happened in front of members of the public, including a witness who was "clearly alarmed" by what she saw.

Smith was not working as a plumber on the night of the attack, and he had no lawful or legitimate reason to be carrying a knife.

'Our lives will never be the same'

Mr Boudhane's mother, Saide, said the family's lives had been "changed forever" as Smith acted in "pure anger" in response to a "minor road offence".

The plan for the future had been for her hardworking son to return to live with her in Algeria, but this will not happen and "he was not there to comfort me on the death of his father", she said in her victim impact statement.

She added: "When the defendant acted in pure anger that night, he did not just kill my son, he killed my whole family. I hope that no family will have to go through this again."

She said: "My son, brother, uncle and nephew Taki was taken from us and our lives will not be the same."

She added: "Whilst my son was still lying in the street, this man had already started planning his escape from the country.

"He would not accept responsibility for taking Taki's life and as a result of this, my family had to endure another 17 months of questioning how he was taken from us.