A plumber has been found guilty of murdering a Deliveroo driver in a road rage attack captured on shocking CCTV footage.
Nathan Smith, 28, swung out with a knife and stabbed part-time delivery driver Takieddine Boudhane, 30, on the evening of January 3, 2020 following a minor road incident.
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.
Smith went “on the attack” and Mr Boudhane used his crash helmet to ward him off.
Even when the incident appeared to end, Smith was “simply not prepared to let things rest there”, Mr Evans said.
Smith thought he could get away with murder by leaving the UK but we never gave up our efforts to find him, using all of the resources at the Met’s disposal
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John
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 on to 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 case that one of those two rapid blows with the knife, each delivered with force, entered Takieddine’s chest.”
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.
Meanwhile, Smith drove home and said nothing to his family about what had happened, jurors were told.
The next day, he took a flight from Luton airport to Austria 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.
On June 3 2021, he travelled back to the UK from Lisbon, accompanied by British officers.
During his trial, Smith, of Archway, north London, claimed he had acted “defensively” after the victim produced a screwdriver.
He told jurors: “From the beginning I’m intending to scare him. The only thing that scared him was me coming towards him swinging a knife. I do not remember intending to hit him with a knife.
“He swung for me, I swung back. I was not angry. I was scared at this point.”
The jury deliberated for around three hours to reject Smith’s claim of self-defence and find him guilty of murder.
Judge Mark Lucraft QC remanded Smith into custody until sentencing on Thursday August 25.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, who led the Scotland Yard investigation, said: “Smith thought he could get away with murder by leaving the UK but we never gave up our efforts to find him, using all of the resources at the Met’s disposal.
“It is an absolute tragedy for Taki and his family that what seemed to start as a minor road traffic dispute led to him losing his life.
“This case yet again illustrates the dangers that weapons cause on our streets and I hope anyone considering carrying a knife thinks again after seeing the devastation this case has wreaked on two sets of families.”