A plumber who murdered a delivery driver in Finsbury Park before fleeing the country has been sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in jail.
Nathan Smith, 28 , was jailed for life after being convicted of murdering 30-year-old Algerian Takieddine “Taki” Boudhane.
The day after the murder, Smith fled the UK and initially travelled to Austria, where he remained in hiding, but also travelling to Switzerland and Portugal.
He was placed on Europol’s “most wanted fugitives” list and officers from the Met’s serious crime manhunt team, known as Op Artemis, worked alongside detectives leading the murder investigation to track him down.
An arrest warrant was issued and he was met by British officers in Lisbon who escorted him back to the UK on 3 June last year.
Smith claimed he acted in self-defence after Mr Boudhane attacked him with a screwdriver but he was unanimously convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury.
The Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft, QC, said: “The sentence I pass can never equate to or replace a life lost.
“Another life lost to death through the use of a knife on the streets of London.”
The judge said Smith claimed he had been on his phone talking to a woman he was due to meet while driving a van.
“It may be the case that you manoeuvred your van in a way that irritated Takieddine.
“There is clearly a verbal altercation between the two of you.”
The judge said Mr Boudhane at one point turned his back to walk away. “You then ran at him.
“You inflicted what was to be the fatal wound. On the CCTV you can be seen to use the knife and make contact with him on a couple of occasions. Having stabbed him, you flee the scene in the van.”