Man who tried to trip stabbing suspect fears he'll lose benefits

 

The passer-by who tried to trip a fleeing youth moments after a man was stabbed at the Notting Hill Carnival has revealed he fears his bravery may cost him his disability allowance.

Valentine Simatchenko, a former Russian policeman who fought as a rebel in Chechnya's war for independence, kicked out "instinctively" as the stabbing suspect ran past in the street on Monday.

Widely published pictures showing the immediate aftermath of the stabbing captured Mr Simatchenko lunging out with his left leg to try to trip the fleeing suspect, while the blood-stained victim could be seen staggering in the background, shortly before collapsing in the street.

But Mr Simatchenko now fears the images made him look more athletic than someone in receipt of disability living allowance should be and that it may now be rescinded.

"It is a big problem for me because I am disabled and this picture does not look good. I have problems this picture is not right," he said.

"Nothing happened. I did nothing really. All I wanted to do was to help the police try and stop that bastard. It all happened so fast and I just acted instinctively – I was annoyed he got away but am pleased to hear the police have been making arrests." He added: "I'm unemployed and know how hard life can be, but there is never any excuse for violence like that."

Mr Simatchenko had been enjoying the Notting Hill festivities with his wife Marina when he saw the fleeing youth and tried to stop him.

He was granted political asylum in 1996 after arriving in Britain from Chechnya, where he fought for the Chechen rebels. In 1995 he suffered a serious stomach injury which he said was sustained in the fighting.

Rio Andre, the 20-year-old stabbed in the abdomen, suffered serious injuries, and was described as "lucky to be alive". A 16-year-old boy has been charged with GBH with intent and possession of an offensive weapon. He cannot be named.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence