Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rylett Road stabbing: Piotr Mikewicz dies; Six arrests

Tributes on Rylett Road
The victim of the stabbing incident yesterday, Piotr Mikewicz, has died. He passed away in hospital this afternoon, having received a stab wound which pierced his heart. He received one other stab wound to his bottom. He died surrounded by his wife and brothers, but sadly not the rest of his family back in Poland - there just wasn't enough time to get them over here.

This is a man who tackled a burglar coming out of a house he would never have been able to afford in a million years, but had such a deep sense of right and wrong he was prepared to defend the property of people many times wealthier than him. He paid for that goodness with his life.

I can also tell you this evening that the police have, this afternoon, made six arrests. One man is in custody on suspicion of murder while five others are charged with assisting an offender. Here's what the police have just told me:
A street cleaner who was stabbed after trying to stop a burglar from getting away in west London has died from his injuries.

The man, aged 40, died in St Mary’s Hospital Paddington earlier today, Thursday 30 August. Although police believe they know the man’s identity, we await formal identification.

At approx 13:50hrs on Wednesday 29 August, police were called to Rylett Road, W12, regarding an assault.

A man had suffered a stab wound to the torso.

The deceased is from Eastern Europe - exact nationality awaits.

A post-mortem examination date and venue to be arranged.

Five people have been arrested today in connection with the incident.

[A] a man aged 30 was arrested on suspicion of murder. He is currently in custody at a central London police station.

Two other men [B and C] and three women [D, E and F] have all been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
You can read more here

I have to say on a personal note today has been a difficult day but also a reassuring one. Difficult given the truly awful news about what was clearly a man with more bravery inside him than most of us will ever have, but reassuring having seen something of the way in which the police were going about their investigation.

Reassurance patrols are underway
In the meeting I attended as a member of the Independent Advisory Group this morning I met the investigating team. This was a group of people who were very clearly focussed on one thing and one thing only. They had little time for anything else, quite understandably, but even under those circumstances they clearly had great respect for the victim and his family, about which much concern was expressed. And the resulting arrests this evening stand testament to that determination, for which they deserve the community’s thanks.

So there we have it. A truly dark 48 hours in the history of Shepherd’s Bush.

One man who came here from the other side of Europe in order to work hard and provide for his family, and who didn’t just sweep those streets but cared enough about the people who lived on them, most of whom he never got to meet, to the point where he would fight to protect their property has lost his life.

People like him are both very rare and utterly irreplaceable, and we have all lost as a result.

Today's headlines are soon gone
Another five, along with the suspected killer, are locked up and will go to court.

Much will be written about this incident in the days and weeks to come. It’s right up most journalists’ street, so you can expect to see lots of “have a go hero” headlines and the rest. I would hope that whatever does get written is done with respect and dignity for Piotr and his family, and that includes the language that is used about the incident itself.

For the rest of us it’s time to reflect. The incident was a one-off and it doesn’t represent what happens in our area. There’s no danger to the public. We can take some reassurance that the police have done what they are there to do, and done it well.

But, for the time being at least, we can only mourn the passing of someone who represented everything that is good about decent people, and was prepared to fight for what was right. Rest in Peace, Piotr. 


  1. Rest in peace Piotr. And strength be with your wife and family. So, so sad.

  2. Such a tragic end for such an incredibly courageous and unselfish man. I would love to be able to pay my respects to Piotr and his bravery. Is there some way to organise a collection to help his family out at this awful time.

    1. dziekuje ci tak zwykle mowil Piotrek nasz kolega i przyjaciel bardzo kochal ludzi nie wazne jakiej rasy .mowil ze jestesmy dziecmi tej ziemi nie wazne narodowosci i pochodzenia bialy cz czarny zolty czy brazowy jestesmy ludzmi i powinnismi sie szanowac i niedalby nikogo skzywdzic

  3. Second the comments above.
    So sad and brave at the same time as to what he did.

  4. RIP to a very brave man who did not deserve to die in such a horrific way. My prayers and thoughts go to his family who have all lost such brave man.

  5. On Wednesday morning I passed Piotr sweeping Hartswood Road and said hello (even with his headphones on), as I often do to whoever is doing this job every Wednesday morning. It's my way of acknowledging not only them as people but for the great work the team do in keeping our streets clean - something often taken for granted.
    It started as any other Wednesday so I was extremely sad at hearing of his attack and even more so now of his untimely death. It makes me so incredibly angry towards the person who took the life of such an honest hard working young man who was thinking of others and the safety of their property - the very people we need more of in today's society.
    May Piotr rest in peace and his family be proud knowing he stood up for what some of us still regard as being a good citizen, but sadly it won't bring him back.

  6. Terrible news. Utter shame on the man responsible for this murder. Deepest condolences to the poor victims family - terrible, terrible news.

  7. I think his surname was Mickiewicz, as Mikewicz doesn't seem or sound right to me (and I'm Polish myself). It's probably because you read "Mick" ask Mik, while it should be read as Mitskievitch.

  8. I can't stop thinking about this. It absolutely breaks my heart. I completely agree with the councillors comments, the killer is absolute scum, drugs or no drugs, there is no excuse for carrying and using a weapon, especially in a manner he knew would cause death. There are too many people in this world like the killer and not enough like Piotr. Please let us know of anything for his family that we can add to. Thank you for keeping us informed in a respectful manner for this brave man.