Fury as hero mechanic who beat paedo to death while rescuing two boys from monster’s clutches is convicted of murder

A CAR mechanic who beat a convicted paedophile to death after rescuing two boys he had abducted has been found guilty of murder.

Vladimir Sankin, 34, faces up to 15 years in jail for the killing of Vladimir Zaitsev, 54, in the city of Ufa, Russia.

Zaitsev, who had previously been jailed for child sex offences, had reportedly lured two boys, aged ten and 14, to his flat and plied them with alcohol.

He also reportedly told the older boy to strip naked or face being killed and dismembered if he refused.

He then allegedly committed “lewd acts” against them.

The younger boy escaped and alerted passerby Sankin, who, by his own account, then ran to the scene and freed the teenager.

In the scuffle, Zaitsev received a number of injuries, including reportedly banging his head on the ground during a fall.

Sankin also reportedly beat him with a wooden stick.

Sankin then held Zaitsev until police arrived, but Zaitsev later died in an ambulance.

A criminal investigation later concluded that the boys were both already freed by the time Sankin arrived and that Sankin had used disproportionate force on Zaitsev.

Medical evidence presented at the trial suggested Zaitsev had died of frostbite, not from his physical injuries.

After eight hours of deliberation, a jury found Sankin guilty of murder, though also appealed for leniency in his sentencing, which will take place next week.

Defending his actions, Sankin said: "I had a choice – to pass by or to save the kids. Surely every man would do the same in my place.”


The case has become a cause célèbre, with a petition of 70,000 people calling for Sankin's release and a benefactor paying his legal cost.

His lawyer, Shota Gorgadze, is now planning an appeal, and is also urging the trial judge to deliver a suspended sentence or order a new trial under a lesser charge.

The jury made clear he “deserves leniency”, said the attorney.

“Vladimir acted like a real man,” he said.

“He ran to the entrance and met a paedophile, snatching from his clutches the second child. 

“A fight broke out, as a result of which the paedophile subsequently died.

“And it was Sankin in the dock.”

The lawyer called his client “a simple guy who could not pass by a paedophile and [not protect] children from this rapist".

“The earth depends on such ordinary men,” he said.

State prosecutors initially also charged the mechanic with robbing money from the wounded Zaitsev, but this was later withdrawn.

Sankin’s mother Galina attacked the verdict. 

"I don't think my son is a murderer – he defended the children,” she said.

“The forensic analysis said Zaitsev died as a result of frostbite, not my son killing him. 

“My son is not to blame.”

Sankin’s wife Polina Naumova added: “No-one knows what would have happened next if he turned a blind eye.”

Zaitsev had served sentences of five years, one year, and 11 years for previous child sex convictions for “sodomy” and “violent sexual acts”.

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