16-year-old jailed after stabbing man to death in a Bedford park

Reporting restrictions lifted so Kamil Serba can be named
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A 16-year-old who stabbed a man to death in a Bedford park has been jailed.

Judge Michael Simon lifted reporting restrictions to allow Kamil Serba to be named as he was sentenced to at least 14-and-a-half years behind bars at Luton Crown Court yesterday (December 20).

At around 8.45pm on Thursday, June 29, he had stabbed 25-year-old Ashish Nahar in Jubilee Park, off Canvin Way in Bedford.

Kamil Serba. Picture: Bedfordshire PoliceKamil Serba. Picture: Bedfordshire Police
Kamil Serba. Picture: Bedfordshire Police

Ashish had been walking through the park with his friend when they saw a group of males, who he asked if they had any rizla paper for his roll-up cigarette.

The two then sat on a bench to smoke but as they started walking again, a boy on a bike rode up behind them, threw his bike to the floor, and stabbed Ashish in the chest before riding away.

Ashish’s friend called for an ambulance before trying to get help from people passing by in the park, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

A family tribute to Ashish, which was read out in court, said: "He grew into such a man, sharing happiness in everyone's life who he met, socialising with everyone.

Ashish Nahar. Picture: Bedfordshire PoliceAshish Nahar. Picture: Bedfordshire Police
Ashish Nahar. Picture: Bedfordshire Police

"He didn’t care what age you were, who you were or what your background was. All he wanted to do was help people, make people laugh and be loved the way he loved everyone."

A postmortem found Mr Nahar's cause of death to be a single stab wound to the heart. It also found that he did not have an opportunity to defend himself.

Serba was identified as a suspect, arrested the following day and subsequently charged with murder.

CCTV footage showed Serba cycling towards some bushes before approaching Ashish and his friend. He is then seen leaving the park at speed on his bike. There was also further CCTV footage at Serba’s home address which captured his movements on the day Ashish was stabbed.

When officers searched the house, they found clothing that matched what he was wearing on the CCTV footage. His bike was recovered by detectives, while Serba also burnt the mask and some of the clothes he was wearing.

Serba pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing at Luton Crown Court last month.

During the hearing, Judge Michael Simon said: “Nothing this court can do will mend the broken hearts or remunerate the distress on Ashish's family. This was no random attack. Having stabbed Ashish you rode away and simply returned home.”

He also commended the officers involved in the case for their hard work and support.

The sentencing follows the start of a new countywide anti-knife crime campaign Just Drop It last month, which highlights the ripple effect of knife crime and calls for people involved to surrender their weapons.

More than 2,000 weapons have been recovered from the county’s 11 weapons bins since they were last emptied in May, which is the second highest total recovered over a six-month period by Bedfordshire Police in five years.

Detective Chief Inspector Katie Dounias from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “This was clearly a horribly violent attack which has resulted in a young man losing his life and a teenage boy now spending life behind bars.

“This is another sad and futile waste of life which has ruined at least two young men’s lives and will doubtless cause pain, trauma and sadness for countless more.

“I hope today’s hearing brings some sense of justice for Ashish and his family and allows them to grieve. I know they are determined to drive change and challenge any sort of attitude that thinks carrying a knife is acceptable.

“While we remain clear on our zero tolerance approach to knife crime, we know that the reasons a young person may choose to arm themselves with a knife can be complex.

“Whatever the reasons, we want to encourage people to reach out for help and support. A better path is out there, and it is imperative that we get this message out to our young people to stop any future tragedies like this from happening.”