AN emotional Nicolas Simenya told how he visited his slain brother in the morgue on what would have been his 37th birthday.
The 35-year-old Africa Export Manager for a steel cabling company flew in from his adoptive home in Belgium.
He spoke of his family’s grief as he joined the police appeal to trace those responsible for Lionel’s death.
Nicolas described his brother as “wonderful, protective and appreciated by all those who crossed his path” at a press conference yesterday.
Lionel, who was 36, was found dead in the street on Fords Road last Thursday after being hit by a Peugeot 207 stolen from a nearby garage.
Car thieves then abandoned the car and fled over a footbridge by the Water of Leith.
Nicolas said: “Lionel was a wonderful, protective big brother and appreciated by all those who crossed his path in Burundi where he was born, in Belgium, his adopted country, and in Scotland where he spent his final years.
“Lionel worked hard and never asked for help from anyone.
“Lionel was in his prime and would have been 37 yesterday had he not been taken away from us.”
Nicolas added: “In the short time he lived in Edinburgh, he won an award as a chef and was considered for prominent work in Edinburgh.
“Yesterday, we visited his body at the mortuary, he looked so peaceful. The same way he lived his life.
“Lionel did not deserve to die such an atrocious death. He should be living his life to the fullest, instead of having been cruelly taken away from us.
“As his family, we urge anyone with information to come forward and contact the police so we can start grieving.”