A WEST Kensington gang of teenage muggers who stabbed a Fulham hotel chef to death for just £12 as he celebrated his 30th birthday are facing years behind bars after admitting manslaughter.
Krzysztof Rusek was knifed through the heart after the four hooded attackers demanded cash from him and his friends as they walked home through a park area of the West Kensington Estate on Lillie Road. The attack happened after he'd completed a shift the nearby Ibis Hotel.
The Polish national, who was with his girlfriend at the time, died in hospital four hours later from massive internal bleeding, while another colleague was saved by chance when a blade hit bank cards in his wallet.
Ruairi Bicknell and Akeen Salako, both 18, along with two 17-year-olds who cannot be named, fled the scene in different directions before allegedly changing their clothes.
All four denied taking part in the killing, but entered guilty pleas to manslaughter charges partway through a murder retrial at the Old Bailey after the first hearing collapsed last year. They will be sentenced on April 23.
The gang had been prowling the park 'looking for victims' when they targeted Mr Rusek in the early hours of June 7 last year, said prosecutor Simon Denison QC.
"They were all hooded, they were all carrying knives, and they were all intent on using those knives to commit robberies together," he said. "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 whether 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."
Bicknell, of Sinclair Road, and Salako, of Talgarth Road, initially admitted they were present at the scene but claimed they did not take part in the robbery or know their companions had knives.
The other two youths were due to argue that they were not at the scene.
Mr Rusek came to the UK from Poland eight years ago and was living in Neasden, northwest London.
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."
Bicknell, Salako and the two 17-year-olds denied murder but admitted manslaughter.