Plumber ‘murdered Deliveroo driver in road rage attack’ before ‘fleeing to Europe’

A plumber who is accused of stabbing a moped-riding Deliveroo driver to death in a fit of road rage then went on the run across Europe for 17 months, a court heard.

Nathan Smith, 28, is alleged to have attacked delivery driver Takieddine Boudhane, 30, in Finsbury Park, north London, on 3 January 2020.

After the alleged incident Smith went on the run across Europe for 17 months, spending time in Austria, Switzerland and Portugal, the Old Bailey heard.

He was arrested at Lisbon airport and flown back to Heathrow on 3 June last year.

Julian Evans QC, prosecuting, said Takieddine had been working as a Deliveroo driver in the north London area on the evening of the horrifying attack.

“That night, Nathan Smith, then aged 26, was driving a white VW Caddy van in the north London area,” Evans said.

“Smith was driving his van down Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park. Shortly after Smith passed a junction to his right, Takieddine emerged from the junction and joined Stroud Green Road. He was riding behind the van.

“Both vehicles came to a stop in traffic. Moments later, Smith turned right into Lennox Road [and] Takieddine followed suit.

“From the events that followed, it is clear that something must have happened around the time that the van turned into Lennox Road.

“It is also clear that whatever happened upset Takieddine,” Evans said.

“From the CCTV footage, it would appear that Takieddine and Smith exchanged words [and] from the events that followed, the encounter was not a friendly one.”

At this point, another delivery driver, Abdallah Cherfi, recognised Takieddine and stopped alongside him.

Evans continued: “As Takieddine was getting off his moped, Smith got out of his van. From the CCTV, it is clear he did so aggressively.

“He approached Takieddine at speed. Although no weapon can be seen on the CCTV, it is the prosecution’s case that Smith emerged from the van with a knife.

“According to Cherfi, Takieddine was holding a screwdriver.”

Both men began to advance forward and then back, squaring up to one another for a few more minutes before Smith suddenly turned and went on the attack, losing his footing and falling over as he did so.

“He got straight back up and moved quickly toward Takieddine, who moved back,” Evans said.

“Smith then swings at Takieddine. Takieddine held up his left arm in a blocking motion as Smith swung at him.

“Smith then walked back towards the van.”

While it appeared that the incident had come to an end, it was in fact far from over.

“From what followed, it is clear that Smith was simply not prepared to leave things alone,” Evans said.

“He went back on the attack.”

Smith charged toward Takieddine armed with a knife, it is claimed.

Takieddine retreated across the road, swinging his crash helmet at Smith as his killer closed in on him.

Evans said: ‘As Takieddine swung his helmet, Smith swing his knife at Takieddine and towards his upper body. Smith was on the attack.”

Evans said that Smith was “not prepared to stop” and rather than leaving it there, he continued to attack Takieddine.

“He ran again towards Takieddine, at speed, knife in hand.

“As he moved at speed toward Takieddine, Smith must have seen the crash helmet in Takieddine’s upraised hand.

“As Smith stepped onto the pavement, he ducked below the swinging crash helmet and swung his knife twice, in quick succession, toward 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.”

Despite his wounds, Takieddine chased Smith back to his van, pounding on the window with his crash helmet.

But once Smith’s van had sped away, Takieddine collapsed to the ground.

The emergency services were called but, despite their best efforts, the 30-year-old died at the scene at 7.42pm.

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death to be a stab wound to Takieddine’s chest, which went 75mm deep and penetrated his heart.

After the attack, Smith used his brother’s card to book a flight to Austria.

He travelled on his brother’s passport and began 17-months as a fugitive.

Smith, of Archway, North London, denies one count of murder.

The trial continues.

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