Vladimir Sankin, who has become a hero to a great many, has been convicted of murder after he eliminated a convicted pedophile while rescuing a child from the latter’s clutches. The 34 year old car mechanic could face up to 15 years in prison for killing Vladimir Zaitsev in the Russian city of Ufa.
Zaitsev had lured a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old to his flat and plied them with alcohol. Allegedly, he did engage in perverse sexual conduct against them. The younger of the two somehow managed to escape and alert Sankin who was passing by.
Sankin then rushed to the spot and freed the teenager after a scuffle with Zaitsev. The pedophile was grievously injured during the fight and is reported to have injured his head during a fall. Sankin is also reported to have beaten him with a stick. The pedophile was held until the police arrive but he died later in an ambulance.
The jury deliberated for nearly eight hours and in the end, held him guilty of murder. The medical evidence presented, however, suggested that the pedophile was killed by frostbite, not Sankin. The sentencing is expected to occur next week and the jury has appealed for leniency in his sentencing.
Sankin said in his defense, “I had a choice – to pass by or to save the kids. Surely every man would do the same in my place.” He has widespread support among the citizenry with a benefactor paying his legal costs and a petition of 70,000 people calling for his release.
His lawyer Shota Gorgadze will file an appeal and has urged the trial judge to deliver a suspended sentence or order a new trial under a lesser charge. He said that the jury has made it clear that Sankin “deserves leniency”. “Vladimir acted like a real man,” he said.
He described Sankin as “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 added. Sankin’s mother insisted that her son was not a murderer and was only protecting the children.
Zaitsev the pedophile has served sentence of five years, one year and eleven years in the past after being convicted of “sodomy” and “violent sexual acts” against children. Many have called for Sankin to be awarded for bravery.