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‘Taki just wanted a wife and kids and to make his parents proud’

Mother speaks out after delivery driver son was stabbed to death in Finsbury Park ‘road rage’ incident

10 January, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Dozens of scooter drivers escorted the ambulance carrying Taki Eddine Boudhane from Walthamstow to Finsbury Park Mosque yesterday evening (Thursday)

AN outpouring of grief and messages of support have followed the death of chef and delivery driver Taki Eddine Boudhane in what police are treating as a road rage incident.

Mr Boudhane, 30, had worked for restaurants including Prezzo, Wagamama and the Ivy Brasserie in and around central London, and delivered food for Deliveroo by night.

His brother said he was saving money to build a house in Algeria, and wanted to get married and raise a family.

Since his death, the Boudhane family have been overwhelmed with messages of support, centred on the Algerian community of Finsbury Park.

His body was released yesterday (Thursday), with scooter riders escorting the hearse from Walthamstow to Finsbury Park Mosque, where final prayers were said.

The Algerian embassy in London has confirmed they will cover the costs of flying Mr Boudhane’s body to Algiers, and a fundraising page in support of the family had raised close to £7,000 in two days as the Tribune went to print.

Chief Supt Raj Kohli with mourners at the Muslim Welfare House

Mr Boudhane’s mother, Saida Boudhane, flew from Algeria on Tuesday night, and visited the scene of her son’s death the next day. She said her son came to London to have a safer life.

“He came here to do a very honourable job. It’s not a job that’s meant to be dangerous,” she said. “Taki is gone. We can never bring him back. I’m a mother. I don’t want this to happen to another mother.

“He didn’t kill one person, he killed a family. We want to make sure this is just not another murder. I will never bring my son back, I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life.”

Ms Boudhane added: “I encouraged him to leave Algeria to be safe. I never thought that he would leave Algeria to come to a different country and die here. Thanks to God. It’s not easy. I want to stay strong for my son and two daughters.”

Later that evening she was greeted by hundreds of mourners from all over north London and beyond at the Muslim Welfare House near Finsbury Park Station.

Also present were representatives from Deliveroo, who offered their condolences in person to Ms Boudhane.

Welfare House director Toufik Kacimi led the gathering, calling up witnesses to speak of Mr Boudhane’s death and similar incidents, while urging the police to continue in their manhunt for the suspect.

Camden and Islington police chief Borough Commander Raj Kohli spoke to the congregation, and promised to do everything in his power to bring the killer to justice.

Takieddine Boudhane

Taki Eddine Boudhane

“I’m very sorry that I’m here today under these circumstances,” he said.

“People are talking about Taki leaving us. He hasn’t left us, he was taken from us. A law-abiding young man, not much older than my own son. No mother should have to bury her own son. No community should have to leave a son behind.”

He added: “I wish I could have stopped it. He was working hard for a living, providing for his family. There was an argument, and this coward attacked our bother and left him to die. I promise you we will find him, he will to go prison for a long time. That is my promise to you.”

Mr Boudhane’s family, including his brother and sister were met at the welfare centre by representatives from the Algerian embassy, who have been supporting the family throughout.

His brother, Islam Boudhane, told the Tribune it felt like he had lost a twin.

“He used to work really hard to send almost all of his money back home to Algeria,” he said.

“All he wanted to do was to get money to send home and build himself a good life. He wasn’t into drugs, or gangs or anything like that. He just wanted a wife and kids, and to make my parents proud. We were like twins, there was only a year between us. We used to sleep in the same bed and help keep each other warm as children. But he’s not here to keep me warm anymore.”

Mr Boudhane added: “Two days before he died he came and told me he was happy. He said we used to live in a metal house, we were cold all the time. We’ve made it, he told me. We all moved out of there, and our lives and our family’s lives are better. He said if he were to die, he would rest in peace, because I know our family is fine. It’s like he had a feeling something would happen.”

He added: “The support we’ve been getting is unbelievable. People are calling me all the time, from all over the world. I don’t know how they are getting my number.”

Speaking of the strength of the community in the wake of Mr Boudhane’s death, his close fried Zakaria Gherabi, 37, said everyone was heartbroken by what happened.

“Many people from Algeria called me about it,” he said. “It was on the news there. Everyone wants to help the family when something like this happens. There’s a big community of us here, and all over. We all want to help and grieve together.”

Close friend Mohammad Benhabane said: “I am thankful to have shared many great memories with Taki. I will miss him, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Hadjer Beyaz, 28, from Archway, left flowers at the site of Taki’s murder, but said she didn’t know him personally.

“It’s all about the community,” she said. “We have to help each other, because we only have each other. I’m here by myself, my family are back in Algeria. If you lose someone then the community reaches out. We understand each other because of the difficulties we go through.”

Mr Kacimi explained the community gathering together was “a big part of the healing process”, adding: “We as a community see this as our job to open up and express the sadness and sorrow of the community and give comfort to each other,” he said.

Mr Boudhane’s body is now due to be flown home to Algeria with his mother after the community gathered once more in solidarity for final prayers at Finsbury Park Mosque yesterday (Thursday).

Anyone wishing to make a donation to sup­port the family can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tony-kitous?utm_term=DjVJ8D3Dg

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