18-year-old jailed for stabbing man to death at knife awareness course

Thug who stabbed man to death at knife awareness course: 18-year-old is jailed for life after attack with 10-inch Rambo blade

  • Vladimir Nachev stabbed Hakim Sillah to death at civic centre in west London 
  • The teenagers were both attending knife awareness course for under 18s
  • Nachev claimed he acted in self-defence, but was found guilty of murder 
  • He has been sentenced to a minimum term of 18 years at Isleworth Crown Court

Vladimir Nachev (pictured), 18, has been jailed for life for a ‘brutal’ attack on Hakim Sillah at a knife awareness course in Uxbridge, west London

A young offender who stabbed another teenager to death at a knife awareness course has been jailed for life.

Vladimir Nachev, 18, pictured here for the first time, launched a ‘brutal’ attack on Hakim Sillah at the Hillingdon Civic centre in Uxbridge, west London, stabbing him several times on November 9 2019.

Mr Sillah, also 18, was taken to the Hillingdon hospital, but died at 5.30pm the same day.

Isleworth Crown Court previously heard how the training course was for those aged under 18 with a previous offence related to weapons and that risk assessments had been carried out on all those who attended.

Nachev claimed he acted in self-defence and had intended to stab him in his arm rather than the chest, but he was found guilty of murder in August.

Judge Pushpinder Saini QC said Mr Sillah’s death had followed an ‘unprovoked attack of exceptional violence’.

Sentencing Nachev on Monday, Judge Saini said: ‘Having been dropped off by car by his mother, Hakim was early for the session.

‘You (Nachev) came to the course carrying a concealed Rambo knife.

‘The cruel irony of the fact you took with you, and used, this weapon on a course which was intended to give you an awareness of weapons hardly needs stating.

Mr Sillah, 18, was taken to the Hillingdon hospital from the civic centre with several stab wounds, but died at 5.30pm the same day

Isleworth Crown Court previously heard how the training course was for those aged under 18 with a previous offence related to weapons and that risk assessments had been carried out on all those who attended

‘Hakim had done nothing and said nothing to cause you to attack him. 

‘Having murdered Hakim you calmly left the centre, concealing the weapon in your trousers… you were clearly distressed about what you had done.’

Judge Saini added that Nachev had an ‘obsession’ with knives and drill rap lyrics which ‘extol the virtues of using knives as part of what is clearly a misguided macho gang culture.’

The court previously heard that Nachev had attacked Hakim before with a knife and had sent him abusive messages.

In May, Hakim told his family that he had been punched by Nachev after they got into a fight over a girl he had accused Hakim of seeing.

On 2 September 2019, Nachev sent a video from his phone which showed him threatening Hakim with a knife.

And two weeks later, Hakim was stabbed in the arm in a subway in Harlington. He told police he was attacked from behind and could not give a description of the suspect.

Nachev, who was dressed in a black shirt and grey tie, smirked as he received his minimum 18-year sentence, provoking emotional responses from Mr Sillah’s family and friends in the courtroom.


Judge Pushpinder Saini QC said Mr Sillah’s death at the hands of Nachev had followed an ‘unprovoked attack of exceptional violence’. Pictured: Hakim Sillah, 18

Judge Saini paid tribute to the ‘great bravery’ shown by Mr Sillah’s mother, Saranbah Sillah, and his 14-year old sister, Sally, who both read out victim impact statements in person. 

‘Hakim was my first son and he was my friend, he was my companion,’ said Ms Sillah.

’10 days from now he would have been 19-years old and he was waiting so much for this time in his life.

‘We had so much fun and he was such a pleasure to be around. As a mum I looked up to him, we talked about everything.

‘This is a heavy burden for me to carry, and one that I will carry for the rest of my life.’

Ms Sillah also told the court the way in which youth outreach projects operate needs to be re-evaluated.

She said: ‘I honestly think the mandate in which some of these organisations operate, the civic centres, the social service, all these programmes need to be revisited.

Hakim’s mother Saranbah Sillah attended court to give a victim impact statement in which she said the way in which youth outreach projects operate needs to be re-evaluated. Pictured: Isleworth Crown Court 

‘They need to look at what their key role is and what they are doing and how they are actually supposed to be reaching out to young people.

‘The work that they do, is it really working?

‘Are they actually covering the areas that need to be covered? Are they actually caring about these young people? Are they putting their lives first?

‘In my own case, the unfortunate circumstances in which I sit here now, if so many things had been done it would not have been this way.’

The course was run by the Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) for those aged under 18 with a previous offence related to weapons.

Ms Sillah said better risk assessments should have been performed prior to the incident and that the security in place at the centre was inadequate.

She added that Mr Sillah had played a ‘major role’ within his family and had shared an ‘unbreakable bond’ with his younger siblings.

In her own statement Mr Sillah’s 14-year-old sister, Sally, said the incident had affected her in an ‘indescribable way,’ adding she could ‘barely function without him’.

‘You don’t know Hakim, my big brother, my protector,’ she said.

‘The day I found out everything stopped. This was my biggest fear in my heart, losing a family member.

‘It feels like there’s something missing.

‘My family always say Hakim, couldn’t function without me. Now I can barely function without him.

Addressing her brother, she added: ‘You put a smile on my face all the time and your smile keeps on repeating in my head.’

Nachev, of West End Lane, Harlington, Hayes, must serve a minimum sentence of 18 years before being considered for parole.

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