Plumber who stabbed Deliveroo driver to death in road rage attack jailed for life

Nathan Smith, 28, stabbed part-time delivery driver Takieddine Boudhane, 30 after a minor road incident in Finsbury Park, London, in January 2020

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A plumber has been jailed for life over the murder of a Deliveroo driver in a road rage attack captured on shocking CCTV footage.

Nathan Smith, 28, swung out with a knife and stabbed part-time delivery driver Takieddine Boudhane, 30, on the evening of January 3, 2020 after a minor road incident in Finsbury Park, north London.

He went on the run the day after the murder, leaving Mr Boudhane’s family to endure 17 months of “torment” as he refused to accept responsibility before being forced to face a jury trial, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Boudhane’s father, Said, also died before the trial and did not live to see Smith jailed for life on Thursday and told he must serve at least 21 years in prison.

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith

Judge Mark Lucraft QC, sentencing, said Smith, of Archway, north London, had been “aggressive throughout” the attack and had swung at his victim at least five times.

The attack happened in front of members of the public, including a witness who was “clearly alarmed” by what she saw.

Smith was not working as a plumber of the night of the attack, and he had no lawful or legitimate reason to be carrying a knife.

The judge also said Smith had taken “positive steps” dispose of evidence in order to try to hide his involvement, before going on the run and fleeing abroad.

Mr Boudhane’s mother, Saide, said the family’s lives had been “changed forever” as Smith acted in “pure anger” in response to a “minor road offence”.

The plan in the future had been for her hardworking-son to return to live with her in Algeria, but this will not happen and “he was not there to comfort me on the death of his father”, she said in her victim impacted statement.

She added: “When the defendant acted in pure anger that night, he did not just kill my son, he killed my whole family. I hope that no family will have to go through this again.”

She said: “My son, brother, uncle and nephew Taki was taken from us and our lives will not be the same.”

She added: “Whilst my son was still lying in the street, this man had already started planning his escape from the country.

Takieddine Boudhane
Takieddine Boudhane

“He would not accept responsibility for taking Taki’s life and as a result of this my family had to endure another 17 months of questioning how he was taken from us.”

This was a time when they were left “in limbo” and endured “17 months of not understanding what was happening and who was responsible”.

She said that “this man continued to torment my family by refusing to accept responsibility”, and forced them to endure a jury trial where my son got to watch my brother’s murder “frame by frame”.

She also noted: “Not once did he say he was sorry for what he had done, only that he had suffered PTSD while he was on the run.”

Smith was in a white VW Caddy van when moped rider Mr Boudhane had made a right turn, before the fatal confrontation.

Mr Boudhane, a chef, had become upset at the manoeuvre and words were exchanged, prosecutor Julian Evans QC had told jurors.

The situation escalated as Smith emerged from his van in Charteris Road with a knife in hand.

Smith went “on the attack” and Mr Boudhane used his crash helmet to ward him off.

Even when the incident appeared to end, Smith was “simply not prepared to let things rest there”, Mr Evans said.

Describing CCTV footage of the incident, the prosecutor said: “As Smith ran towards him, Takieddine swung his crash helmet towards Smith. This action, again say the prosecution, was defensive.

“As Smith stepped on to the pavement, he ducked below the swinging crash helmet, and swung his knife twice, in quick succession, towards Takieddine’s upper body.

“It is the prosecution case that one of those two rapid blows with the knife, each delivered with force, entered Takieddine’s chest.”

Despite suffering a 7.5cm wound, Mr Boudhane ran after Smith and hit the side of the van with his crash helmet as he drove off, the court heard.

Mr Boudhane then collapsed on the ground. Despite the efforts of medics at the scene, he died at 7.42pm.

Meanwhile, Smith drove home and said nothing to his family about what had happened, jurors were told.

The next day, he took a flight from Luton airport to Austria using his brother’s passport and bank card.

When police searched for him at his parents’ address, the defendant’s father showed them a video believed to be from his son featuring views of lakes and mountains.

Police went on to recover Smith’s van and found bloodstains matching the victim’s DNA.

In February 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for Smith, who returned to the UK after 17 months on the run in Europe.

On June 3 2021, he travelled back to the UK from Lisbon, accompanied by British officers.

During his trial, Smith, claimed he had acted “defensively” after the victim produced a screwdriver.

He told jurors: “He swung for me, I swung back. I was not angry. I was scared at this point.”

The court heard that Smith, who has since expressed remorse over the killing, has previous convictions including possession of a prohibited weapon, offences of supplying class A drugs, possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and cannabis possession.