Mother left paralysed amid the Met's incompetent investigation

Mother left paralysed by stress amid the Met’s incompetent investigation into her son’s murder tells of her anguish after being forced to watch CCTV footage of his phone lighting with her calls as he lay dying

I would have given anything to see my son’s killers jailed for life. I wanted to look into the eyes of the callous creatures who murdered my boy.

They were apparently laughing and booing as the judge sentenced them to life with a minimum of 27 years. 

I wish I could have seen, as the implications of the sentence sunk in, whether they had a semblance of the pain I endure every moment of every day, existing without my child.

Instead, I was forced to watch from my bed via video link. Eighteen months after losing 22-year-old Sven — my only child — I had a cardiac arrest.

I was in a coma for ten weeks and have been left paralysed. My arms are completely useless. As a medical doctor, I know it was brought on by the stress of losing Sven and of fighting to bring his killers to justice.

Jasna Badzak has been left paralysed after a cardiac arrest amid the Met’s investigation into her son’s killers

Sven Badzak was stabbed with such force that the knife came out of the other side of his back

Composite of undated handout photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Rashid Gedel, Shiroh Ambersley and Harvey Canavan, who have been convicted at the Old Bailey for the killing of Sven Badzak

A gang of six stabbed Sven to death in a frenzied and completely motiveless attack which lasted all of 20 seconds. The pathologist’s report shows that one of the wounds was seven centimetres long. 

His chest was stabbed with such force that the knife came out of the other side of his back. Only three of them have been convicted — Rashid Gedel, 22, and Shiroh Ambersley, 23, who were sentenced on Thursday and Harvey Canavan, 19, who pleaded guilty earlier to manslaughter and unlawful wounding.

The others are still brazenly walking the streets. One, who the Mail has pictured exclusively online, even managed to flee to the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, under the noses of the police. 

The authorities know exactly who they are. Their names and nicknames came out in court. But I believe the police are sitting on their hands as they tell me they have other murders to solve. But they can be sure, I won’t rest until these monsters are behind bars too.

Of course, I’m pleased that three of the killers are now safely locked away and, of course, there are examples of outstanding individual police officers. But what I have learnt about our force since Sven died has been simply devastating. 

READ MORE: Drug dealers laugh and lie down in the dock as they are jailed for murdering aspiring lawyer, 22, by stabbing him to death as he walked home from Waitrose after ‘mistaking him for gang rival’ – as three killers remain on the run 

In my experience, the Metropolitan Police were so incompetent that each arrest was like climbing Everest. Police have only two jobs — to try to prevent crime and to solve crimes quickly and efficiently. They failed Sven on both counts.

I owe it to Sven — and to all the other mothers out there who face losing their children like me — to expose the truth.

Believe me, this is not a fight I want. It seems almost impossible to believe but once, not so long ago, I was a happy, normal mum, content with my lot. 

In Sven, I had everything I could possibly want. He was the kindest son, my only child, my everything, who had the brightest of bright futures.

He was a natural leader, who his teachers predicted would become prime minister one day. Sven met Boris Johnson many times — as chair of my local Conservative association in West London, I signed Johnson’s nomination papers for his bid to become Mayor.

Caring, too. When Sven saw smoke billowing from Grenfell Tower, up the road from us, on that awful night in 2017, he grabbed everything from his wardrobe and started emptying mine. 

Then he marched me to Waitrose to buy food and supplies that we filled the car with, to help survivors. When we reached the scene, he was choked by a sense of helplessness, desperate to hand out what we’d brought.

He hit the shops again during the Covid pandemic, buying essentials for our elderly neighbours who were self-isolating. 

He once asked me to teach him first aid in case someone collapsed in the street after a heart attack or a stabbing. Never for a second did we guess he would be the one needing help.

His dad, Dragomar, and I are divorced but we were united in our love for our son. After leaving our native Yugoslavia in 1992, to escape the war, I retrained as a financial analyst so we could afford to send him to Wetherby School — the same pre-prep school that Princes William and Harry attended — then the independent Portland Place School in Marylebone from where he won a place at Roehampton University and took a sociology degree.

Jasna Badzak, the UK Independence Party candidate for the Westminster North seat in the 2010 election, at her home in W10, with son Sven , 11, and dog Fluffy

Mrs Badzak at her home in Barrow 

He had intended to start a law conversion course, but deferred it because of the pandemic and worked instead, part time, for his dad’s construction company.

February 6, 2021, started as any normal day. In the morning, Sven had gone shopping with his dad. 

He’d bought some hair dye for me and took photos of it to send me so he knew he’d got the right brand. But he forgot to buy orange juice.

Later that afternoon he declared: ‘Mum, I really fancy a bagel.’ His favourite was one with cream cheese and smoked salmon. ‘I’ll go out and get one for each of us and also buy your orange juice,’ he said.

I didn’t want him to go — it was snowing heavily. But he wasn’t taking no for an answer and walked to the Waitrose. 

A friend who lived nearby — whom Sven had met playing football — queued with him outside.

When it got to 6pm and he wasn’t home, I started to worry. I rang him again and again. There was no answer. 

I’ve seen the CCTV footage which shows his phone lying beside his dying body — the screen lighting up with every one of my calls. It’s a picture I can’t get out of my head.

READ MORE: ‘I won’t leave the Met alone until they have put all his killers behind bars’: Tory activist whose aspiring lawyer son was stabbed to death is ‘furious’ one suspected murderer was able to escape justice overseas 

Sven and his friend, who was also badly wounded in the attack, were targeted by the six men in a case of mistaken identity. They thought that the two of them were encroaching into ‘their’ drugs territory.

They tracked their prey as they returned from Waitrose to the bagel shop. My son was oblivious when they pounced.

Sven managed to run as far as the outside of a burger shop where they caught him again. They kicked and punched him while he lay dying. They stabbed him four times in the chest and back before fleeing. 

Paramedics couldn’t save him. He was declared dead at 6.18pm. His 16-year-old friend, who’d been stabbed in the back, survived. I will never forgive myself for not being there to save Sven’s life. 

From the moment I gave birth to him in St Mary’s Hospital, London, I wasn’t Jasna the doctor, any more. I was Jasna the Mum.

I thought if Sven was ever in any danger I would be there for him. And I wasn’t. I thought I would always sense when he needed me. 

But I was unaware that anything terrible had happened until two police officers knocked on the door. It was 9.30pm.

By then Sven had been dead for three hours. Police had posted online about the incident at 7.30pm. 

Police forensics at The scene on Willesden Lane in Kilburn, North West London where Sven Badzak, was found stabbed to death

My son was oblivious when they pounced, JASNA BADZAK writes

But this was the first moment they came to see me, his mum. They told me he had been stabbed, but did not give details about how it had happened.

It was the start of a stream of incompetent behaviour.

Of course, as a local politician I knew that the Met had problems but I honestly didn’t have an inkling of just how deep the rot had set until Sven died.

When the officers broke the news, I was in such shock, I didn’t believe it. My first thought was: ‘I have to save my boy.’ Dragomar was with me because he and Sven planned to watch their beloved Liverpool FC together that night on TV.

I demanded to know where Sven’s body was. We got in the car and drove to the location the police had given us. It was wrong. We were driving around manically.

I called 999 and 101. No one could help. No one seemed to know where Sven actually was.

I was so desperate that I posted an appeal on Twitter. There were 75,000 replies and retweets. 

One man replied that he had seen Sven in front of the bakery waiting with a friend for his bagels. 

They’d been playing video games on their phones as kids do, to pass the time. The witness said he’d been walking down the street and saw a ‘menacing looking’ group of men on the other side of the road, that they had knives on them.

I felt sick. I began to understand how Sven had died — at the hands of a drug gang. There was still nothing more from the police until an officer rang me at 1.30am. I will never forget the call. 

He was yelling at the top of his lungs as though I’m stupid. ‘You must stop tweeting. You are interfering with a police investigation.’ I was a grieving mother, desperate to know what had happened to my son, desperate to know where he was.

When I finally saw Sven it was in a mortuary at Northwick Park Hospital. I could not even kiss or hug him because there was a glass screen between us.

I kept apologising to him for not being there. I wanted to hug him from head to toe. I kept telling him how much I loved him — that I will never forgive myself for not being there to save him.

I told him he was the best son in the world. ‘You live inside me. To me you didn’t die.’ Worse followed. The police claimed that Sven had been involved in an altercation.

READ MORE: Killers who stabbed Tory party activist’s son to death when they mistook him for gang rival as he popped to Waitrose are found guilty of his murder 

It was madness. Sven wouldn’t even argue with me — his mum —let alone with strangers carrying knives. 

They told me he’d run from one location to the other in 60 seconds. Even Mo Farah couldn’t have done it, given the distance between the two places. Begging them to look at the CCTV footage, I felt I had to be on their backs the whole time. 

The forensics team collected a wealth of information. But the police seemed reluctant to examine it.

I felt the investigation was desperately slow, and the police came up with one excuse after another for inaction. 

If the killers were walking in heavy shoes, they wouldn’t leave DNA traces. Fingerprints can’t be left in the snow.

The days were ticking by. One day, I literally spent five hours arguing with them, begging them to go through the evidence. 

I was tearing my hair out. At my wits’ end, I started talking to journalists. 

I also appealed for help to Boris Johnson, to Priti Patel — then the Home Secretary — and to Sean Bailey, the former Conservative Mayoral candidate.

It enraged the police even more. They told me I could be arrested for interfering in an investigation.

This was an innocent young man stabbed to death on a busy London street at 6pm on a winter’s day. 

The police should be outraged. Instead, it felt as if crimes like these have become so commonplace they can’t be bothered.

Bringing war criminals to justice was a hundred times easier than getting my son’s killers convicted. Before leaving Yugoslavia, I’d gathered information about the atrocities that took place there.

I was able to supply this to the War Tribunal in the Hague. As a protected witness, I helped convict nine criminals in two trials.

Back here, the Met finally arrested Gedel on March 10, followed by Ambersley on March 13, then Canavan. But instead of arresting Ambersley’s friend, Lior Agbayan — the son of a diplomat in London — at the same time, they waited 24 hours. It gave him the chance to flee via Manchester on a plane to the Ivory Coast.

Sven Badzak was stabbed to death outside Waitrose in Kilburn

Boris Johnson pictured with Sven Badzak when he was younger

I won’t stop badgering the police until all six killers are charged. I am also campaigning to bring in Sven’s Law. 

I want police to carry scanners so they can stop people and search for knives. And I want anyone caught with a knife on our streets to serve a 20-year mandatory prison sentence. It is the only way to reclaim our streets so young people like Sven can go out safely.

I know I can never reclaim my old life. I know I will never stop mourning Sven. His room is untouched — everything exactly as he left it the afternoon he walked out. I’ve kept his email account open too. 

I know it’s foolish but I want some piece of him to still be alive. There are still occasional messages — one recently from the place where he’d donated blood. I didn’t even know he’d done that.

I rely on carers and Sven’s dad. He is broken just like me. Without Sven, life has no meaning.

I talk to my son constantly and go to sleep thinking of him. In my dreams I’m trying to reach him. But every time I lose him . . . again and again.

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