Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shock of Our Son's Random Murder Killed His Father Too; We Are Going through Hell Says Mother of Cyclist Stabbed to Death by a Mindless Teenager

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Shock of Our Son's Random Murder Killed His Father Too; We Are Going through Hell Says Mother of Cyclist Stabbed to Death by a Mindless Teenager

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIELLE GUSMAROLI

WHEN William Henderson and his former wife rushed to hospital in the middle of the night to see their son, they were told he had been in a serious accident.

They were consumed with worry as they were led into a quiet whitepainted room in the accident and emergency department of St Mary's hospital in Paddington.

It was not until half an hour later that they learned the terrible truth.

Two police officers quietly entered the room and explained, as gently as they could, that their 21-year-old son had, in fact, been murdered.

Simon was knifed four times as he waited for the elevator to take him to the 12th floor of Glasgow House, a tower block in Maida Vale where his sick father lived.

His killer Somir Akbar, 19, claimed that Simon, a complete stranger, had insulted him or his friends as he cycled past. They chased him and, as he waited for the lift, crept up from behind.

Without a word or warning, Akbar slashed his throat - twice. Simon bled to death by the elevator shaft.

The shock was such that all Mr Henderson could utter as he was told what happened was: "Oh my God". Then he collapsed on the waiting room floor from a massive heart attack. He died a week later.

Moroccan-born Akbar has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey for what the judge described as "a mindless and savage killing for kicks".

Simon's mother Kay, 45, who was due to remarry her ex-husband this year, believes Akbar should have been charged with two counts of murder - Simon's and William's.

Speaking for the first time about the attack, Mrs Henderson, from Maida Vale, said: "That man may have got life but it doesn't bring back my boy or William. You don't feel a sense of relief as you think you would or that justice has been done. I keep asking myself why did he have to kill him? Why couldn't they just have hit him? It's been seven months and I still can't accept both my boy and husband are gone. I still keep thinking Simon will walk through the door or that William will make things better."

Akbar saw Simon, who was to start his new job as a postman the next day, cycle along Lanark Road, Maida Vale - close to St George's School where headmaster Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death protecting a pupil seven years ago. …

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