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Nikola Tarasov

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Nikola Tarasov (1950s - December 2000) was Leon's brother. After serving in the Soviet navy for some time, he and Leon got a job on a fishing trawler which suffered dual engine failure in the North Sea in 1975. The two Tarasovs and the other forty crew members were rescued by the Norwegian navy and a British lifeboat and taken to Britain. The Tarasovs successfully applied for asylum and, after failing to find work in the fishing industry, moved to the Russian community in East London. The two took a series of low-paid jobs, their income supplemented by petty theft; Nikola served three months in prison in 1979 after robbing a mini-cab office.

After being released, Nikola was declared bankrupt and homeless and was allocated a flat in the Palm Hill estate, which in inhabited with Leon. After the Palm Hil riots in July 1981, the Tarasovs were awarded thousands of pounds in compensation after five cars the two were planning to sell were gutted in an arson attack on a garage. With the money, the two brought a derelict pub, which was refurnished and renamed the King of Russia, and a lease of land which became the site of Tarasov Prestige Motors.

The two continued their lack of respect for the law, and was once put on trial for possessing fake vehicle tax tags; they were acquitted of this offence. They were also investigated for tax evasion and possessing stolen vehicle parts and cars.

Nikola married Paula Randall in 1985 and had two children: Piotr, who is known as Pete, and Sonya. The two divorced in 2000. After several bouts of ill health, Nikola died of pneumonia in Decemeber 2003.

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