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Family of Andre Bent who was murdered on night out to Gallery Nightclub in Maidstone pay tribute to an 'inspiring' young man

The sister of a student murdered in an horrific machete attack says he will live on through his baby daughter.

Andre Bent was killed when Vasilios Ofogeli stabbed him and three others outside Gallery Nightclub in Bank Street, Maidstone, in August following a show by rapper MoStack.

Andre Bent was killed on a night out in Maidstone
Andre Bent was killed on a night out in Maidstone

Speaking to KentOnline after a judge yesterday sentenced her brother's killer to life in prison, Michaela Bent spoke glowingly of a sibling she was certain was destined for a life of great things.

"We had a bit of a brother and sister feud," the 24-year-old said. "But as he got older he became my best friend. He was so inspiring, everyone he would talk to, they would turn around and change their life because of conversations they would have with him.

"I suffer from anxiety and depression, he got me out of that low space. He didn’t like to see sadness and tears. That’s the voice of his I have in my head.

"He was an enigma, he was a force to be reckoned with."

The 21-year-old South Bank University student, who lived with his family in Lambeth, died from a single stab wound from what police described as a machete-like weapon.

Andre Bent (centre), with father Michael Bent and sister Michaela Bent
Andre Bent (centre), with father Michael Bent and sister Michaela Bent

Tragically, his fiancée Maria had found out on the day he died that she was carrying his child, who was born earlier this month.

Michaela said: "The family like to sit together and remember the good times. Now he has got a beautiful baby girl and we can see his face in her.

"We want to put the best future in place for all of us. Now the trial is done, we want to remember what he did in life rather than how he died.

"She is healthy and beautiful, she is just like him, he lives on through her."

Ofogeli, who recorded sick rap tracks in prison boasting about killing and how it 'should have been more', will serve a minimum of 20 years before he will be eligible for release.

Vasilios Ofogeli has been jailed for life for the murder of Andre Bent
Vasilios Ofogeli has been jailed for life for the murder of Andre Bent

These recordings were posted on social media and came to the attention of his victim’s fiancée close to the time she went into labour.

Sentencing Ofogeli to life, Mrs Justice Cutts said of the recordings: "It was an unkind and wicked thing to do. I do not increase your sentence as a result of this action but it speaks volumes of your lack of remorse and understanding of the impact of your crimes."

In a victim impact statement read to the court at yesterday's sentencing, the victim's mother Monika McIntosh said: "This has devastated our family.

"Andre was the light of my life. At home he was such a happy funny person. He loved to fill the air when he was around. Now the silence is so loud it's deafening. There's something missing, Andre.

"I cannot put on paper how I feel. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy."

Andre Bent pictured as a child (centre) with mother Monika, sister Michaela and brother Dominic
Andre Bent pictured as a child (centre) with mother Monika, sister Michaela and brother Dominic

Mr Bent's sister acknowledged that although no amount of prison time for her brother's killer would be enough for her, their mother did feel some relief at the sentence handed down at the Old Bailey yesterday.

And for young people considering picking up a knife, her message was clear.

“I think these kids need to realise the impact they have on their lives and other people's lives," she said. "Twenty years he (Ofogeli) is going to sit in his cell, he can't go out, have a child, have an education, get a job.

"Picking up a knife can lead to horrific things. They need to think about what they are doing before they do it.

"We don't want to see others go through what we are going through. There are other ways around things. Lockdown has made me value people more, we need to look out for each other and love each other because knife crime is not going away."

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