Takieddine Boudhane: 200 delivery drivers escort victim’s body to memorial at Finsbury Park Mosque
PUBLISHED: 11:52 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 10 January 2020
More than 200 delivery drivers escorted the body of their colleague Takieddine “Taki” Boudhane to Finsbury Park Mosque for a packed memorial on Thursday night.
Up to 1,000 people turned out to pray for the murdered delivery driver, whose coffin, draped in the Algerian flag, was transported from Walthamstow to St Thomas's Road.
There was a sea of scooters parked outside the mosque, where three floors crammed full of people prayed for Takieddine, 30, and his family.
The Uber Eats and Deliveroo rider was fatally stabbed in Lennox Road on Friday night last week - the first murder in London of 2020.
Mounar, a friend, was ushering people into the mosque.
He said: "People are coming from everywhere, there's people from Palmers Green, Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Shepherd's Bush, Hackney.
"They're coming from north, west, south, everywhere. It's like, literally we could close this whole area now. The atmosphere is something else."
Reflecting on Takieddine's life, he added: "He was a funny bubbly character, we had a laugh."
Inside, loved ones wept beside Takieddine's coffin and readied themselves to pray.
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Tony Kitous, a family friend, told the Gazette: "He has over 1,000 people come here, about 200 drivers escorted him - look how much he is loved.
"Not everyone here knows him, but most of them know him. There is not one person that knows him that hasn't died, it's a tragedy.
"Whoever did this murder has not killed only one person or one family, he has killed many communities. The Algerian community in the UK, the delivery drivers community - he killed everyone. But the whole community is here and this tragic incident makes the community even stronger.
"They have a very serious, deep problem in London with knife crime. His mother has felt what it's like to lose a son, they don't want it to happen to anyone else.
"He was an innocent citizen, he worked so hard with two jobs. When [Takieddine's mother Saida] visited the crime scene she fainted, it's horrible.
"His mother never imagined she would come and collect his body and bring it back in a box. When he came to London, as soon as he landed she started feeling in peace because she thought he'd be safe. She's broken and she wants justice."
Police believe Takieddine was stabbed after an altercation with the driver of a white van, which they later found abandoned on Sunday.
A police manhunt is underway to trace the suspect.
Finsbury Park Mosque is crowdfunding to support Takieddine's family.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD5934/3Jan. Anyone who may have dashcam footage of the incident, or the period before or after, is asked to save this and contact police if they may have captured anything relevant to the investigation.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.