A security guard knifed as he tried to stop gatecrashers forcing their way into an exclusive Mayfair party and a mother were today revealed as London’s first murder victims of 2019.
Tudor Simionov and Charlotte Huggins, both 33, were killed in separate incidents within the first six hours of the new year. Their deaths come after the capital recorded the highest number of homicides in a decade last year.
Mr Simionov was hailed a hero for protecting colleagues who were attacked by a group of men trying to gain entry to the party at a £12.5 million townhouse in Park Lane.
Just over an hour earlier, Ms Huggins was knifed multiple times at her home in Camberwell after celebrating the arrival of the new year.
Mr Simionov’s girlfriend revealed today that they moved to London “for a better life” and had planned to marry. Madalina Anghel told the Evening Standard: “Right now I can’t think about him in the past. He was my future husband and we came to London from Romania for a better life. I can’t explain in words how much pain I am in.
“He was a really good man. We were happily and excitedly talking about having children together.”
Mr Simionov died at the scene after police were called to reports of trouble in the street at 80 Park Lane at about 5.30am yesterday. Two other security staff, both men aged 37 and 29, and a woman, 29, were also taken to hospital after being stabbed. Their injuries are not life-threatening.
Club promoter Leroy Rose, 25, who gave Mr Simionov first aid, said the bouncer was a hero who died protecting his colleagues.
He told the Standard: “I saw him come back inside. He was in a suit and it was covered in blood. He didn’t have a protective vest or anything. I saw blood coming from his chest.
“I pulled him into the back and grabbed a towel and held the wound. He never said a word, he was in a shock. He only survived for a minute. He was stabbed in the middle of the chest. He is a hero, he died trying to save his colleagues. He beat up about nine guys by himself.”
The party was being held at a luxury three-bedroom house with views of Hyde Park, glass floors and a rooftop which is thought to be regularly hired out as a party venue.
Video footage seen by the Standard shows a group of at least 10 men brawling outside the building before the knife attack.
A woman who was at the party told the Standard: “Someone ran inside and said there’s a stabbing upstairs and to hold the door. Some people started to hide, others held the door while some people tried to get in. There were broken glasses everywhere … it was chaos.”
Detectives said some of the party revellers might have filmed the murder on their mobile phones and appealed for them to come forward. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge added: “The area was particularly busy with people out celebrating and making their way home from various parties and organised events.”
Thursanth Kanapathi, 33, manager of the Esso petrol station in Park Lane, said he had called police two hours earlier. Images captured at the scene showed a man with a stab wound to his arm and large groups of men and women in their 20s on the forecourt.
He said: “They were all dressed in Gucci and designer labels. They were fighting among themselves and threatening my customers.
“I called the police at about 3am who came and then went. I also called the council who sent an official down. He was there with me when the guy got stabbed. It was so scary. There were young men and women everywhere and screaming and shouting.”
In a further incident early today, a man in his early 30s was stabbed in the stomach at an address in Corelli Road, Blackheath. He is said to be critically ill in hospital. A total of 134 people died violent deaths in London in 2018, the highest total since 2008 when 154 people were killed.
Source – standard.co.uk