A FULHAM chef was murdered by a gang of teenage muggers on his birthday for just £12, a court heard this week.
Polish-born Krzysztof Rusek, who worked at the Ibis Hotel, in Lillie Road, was knifed through the heart after four attackers demanded cash from him and his friends as they walked home after celebrating his 30th birthday, in the early hours of June 7.
He died four hours later in hospital from 'massive’ internal bleeding. One of his friends was saved after the blade hit bank cards in his wallet.
On Monday, December 12, the Old Bailey heard that 18-year-old Ruairi Bicknell, of Sinclair Road, West Kensington, two 17-year-olds and a boy aged 16 fled in different directions before changing their clothes.
Simon Denison QC, prosecuting, said the gang had been prowling the park near the West Kensington Estate ‘looking for victims’ when they saw Mr Rusek.
He said: “They were all hooded, they were all carrying knives, and they were all intent on using those knives to commit robberies together. The defendants took one victim each – knives out, pointing the knives at them – demanding money.
“One of Mr Rusek’s group handed over all the cash that he had – a little over £12 in coins. We don’t know if Krzysztof Rusek tried to resist or if he did nothing. He is no longer alive to tell us what happened, and the others didn’t see it.”
The attack took place in a small park area near Lillie Road at about 1.50am. The court heard Bicknell and one of the 17-year-old boys will admit they were present at the time but will claim they did not take part in the robbery or know their companions had knives. The other two are to argue they were not there.
Mr Rusek came to the UK from Poland eight years ago and lived in Neasden.
Mr Denison said: “The prosecution case is that these four defendants were a team of robbers, acting together, all armed with knives, and all intending to use them to commit robbery.
“Although only one of them inflicted the fatal stab wounds, they were all in it together, and they are all responsible for what each of them did.”
All four deny murder. The trial continues.