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Sister of Andre Bent, who was murdered outside Gallery nightclub in Maidstone after MoStack concert, speaks of joy his daughter brings


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The sister of a young man murdered in a machete attack has spoken of the joy his baby daughter brings to the grieving family.

Andre Bent, 21, was stabbed outside the Gallery nightclub in Maidstone by 16-year-old Vasilios Ofogeli in August 2019, following a show by rapper MoStack.

Andre Bent with elder sister Michaela Bent Pic: Michaela Bent
Andre Bent with elder sister Michaela Bent Pic: Michaela Bent

His fiancée Maria found out on the day Andre died that she was carrying his child, named Neriah, who is now over a year-and-a-half-old.

Elder sister Michaela, 26, said: "She lights up the family. She's just like her dad. She runs around, she loves food, she's got her own little mind, she's an explorer.

"For my mum and my dad and my family seeing Neriah is like having Andre back."

In May 2020, Ofogeli was jailed for life and told to serve a minimum of 20 years, after being found guilty of murdering Andre, two other attempted murders and another charge of wounding with intent, on August 25.

Michaela believes her brother, who was from Lambeth and studied at South Bank University, would have gone on to get a masters and a PHD, then become a successful businessman.

Andre Bent's daughter Neriah, at her dad's grave Pic: Michaela Bent
Andre Bent's daughter Neriah, at her dad's grave Pic: Michaela Bent

His family are now focussed on giving Neriah as much love as possible, and sharing their memories, videos and stories of Andre with her.

They recognise at some point when she's older she will question and they will speak about what happened to her dad, which will be a "difficult situation".

But for now, they are dedicated to bringing as much positivity to her life as possible.

Andre "would have been ecstatic" about Neriah's birth, and always wanted a big family, having been close with his two siblings and cousins, Michaela said.

When asked what stories about Andre the family would share with Neriah, Michaela said: "There's definitely a few, Andre was just wild, he used to back flip off walls. He used to think he could do parkour."

Andre Bent died near Gallery nightclub in August 2019
Andre Bent died near Gallery nightclub in August 2019
Murder victim Andre Bent pictured as a child (centre) with mother Monika, sister Michaela and brother Dominic
Murder victim Andre Bent pictured as a child (centre) with mother Monika, sister Michaela and brother Dominic

Speaking after her brother's killer was sentenced, Michaela described Andre as "inspiring", adding: "Everyone he would talk to, they would turn around and change their life because of conversations they would have with him."

In a victim impact statement read at court, his mother Monika McIntosh said: "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."

Michaela was speaking after a Zoom screening of a documentary about her brother, made by his cousin Louis Annan.

The programme, which is yet to be publicly released, does not focus on how Andre died but rather his life before and legacy.

The hope is that the documentary will raise funds and awareness for a scholarship named after Andre, which the family want to support youngsters affected by knife crime, to send them to university and get them "out of that lifestyle", Michaela says.

When speaking about her younger brother in public, Michaela says she is able to put on a "brave face", and finds joy in sharing her memories about him and the kind of person he was.

When she is alone, however, she feels more emotional.

"When I sit down and look at the videos we used to have, I just think about the last moment and how I felt on the day, that's when I start to break down."

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