London Evening Standard/London
A celebrities’ bodyguard was stabbed to death on his driveway as he tried to defend his London home from a gang of machete-wielding thieves.
Victim Ricky Hayden, 27 — who had worked as a security guard for ITV’s This Morning and whose high-profile clients include footballer Peter Crouch and wife Abbey Clancy — lost his fight for life in hospital on Tuesday night.
His father Paul, 54, who is also a bodyguard to the stars, raced to his son’s aid and tried to shield him from a flurry of machete blows. He was in hospital yesterday being treated for knife injuries.
The pair were woken by thieves attempting to drive off with a moped parked outside their home in Chadwell Heath at 1.25am on Tuesday and went to confront them.
A close friend told the Standard: “It’s heartbreaking. A family has been ripped apart for something so trivial.”
Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crimes unit has begun a murder inquiry and is looking for up to four men. Two men were arrested in the early hours of yesterday on suspicion of murder and are being held at an east London police station.
Ricky, who leaves an older sister and younger brother, had worked with his father at ITV’s studios looking after stars including David Jason and Kerry Katona.
He worked at England striker Crouch’s 2011 wedding to Clancy and was on call as a doorman at various east London nightclubs. A family member told the Standard it was a “very difficult and delicate time” for them.
“We are a very close-knit family and you can imagine what we are all going through and how we are feeling,” he said. “We are all trying to deal with this together.”
On Tuesday night Ricky’s sister April, 23, posted heartbreaking pictures on Facebook of her kissing her brother during his final moments in hospital.
A member of ITV’s security team, Paul Clarke, said: “I’ve worked with Ricky since he started in the security industry and also with his dad for many years.
“He was a pleasure to work with and was very well respected by the This Morning team. He was also a good laugh and will be sadly missed by many people at ITV.”
Colleague Roy Knapp said: “Ricky was one of the greatest guys I had the pleasure of knowing and working with. My heart goes out to his family. I would like to say on behalf of myself and fellow doormen that he will be missed but never forgotten.”
Family friend Ron Martin said: “It’s absolutely disgusting that this has happened because people decided to try to nick a moped. I’m completely heartbroken. I’ve known the family for five years and all I can say is I’m gutted for them.”
The moped which the thieves were trying to steal is believed to belong to Ricky’s younger brother Perry, 20. The gang fled the scene, leaving the vehicle behind.
Neighbours said they were woken by screams in Gibbfield Close and the revving of engines in the early hours of Tuesday.
Emma Forbes, 35, said: “I heard the moped screeching and people shouting. The son was lying on the ground and his dad was running up and down the road screaming for help.
“I heard that it was four guys trying to steal the family’s moped. Paul and Ricky heard it and they both jumped up and chased them.”
She added: “Ricky was a lovely boy. We all grew up together around here and he was one of the good ones. We are absolutely devastated. His sister April had a baby, whom he adored, and the family had just celebrated the child’s first birthday. It’s just such a tragedy.”
Daniel Cater, 28, said: “I came downstairs and opened the door and there were three lads trying to pick up a moped. I could hear someone shouting out, ‘Help him, help him’. Then that was it, he was lying on the ground, with blood everywhere.”
Father-of-two Emanuel Formosa heard yells and when he peered out of his house he saw Ricky writhing in pain on the ground.
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