Justice for families as Turkish waiter sentenced to life
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
AFTER two long years, the families of Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore, who were brutally stabbed to death in Turkey two years ago, have finally got justice.
On Wednesday, Recep Cetin, the former boyfriend of Ms Graham's daughter Shannon, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the double murder. It will be 30 years before the 24-year-old can apply for parole.
In August 2011, Ms Graham, 54, from Newry and her friend Ms Dinsmore, 53, from Warrenpoint, were on holidays in the resort of Kusadasi along with then 15-year-old Shannon.
While Shannon was on a boat trip, Cetin offered to take the women on a shopping trip. Shannon raised the alarm when the pair didn't return and they were later found stabbed to death in a wooded area on the outskirts of the city of Izmir. Both women were stabbed multiple times in a frenzied attack.
Cetin was arrested when blood-stained clothes were found in a bin close to his home. He initially claimed the women had been kidnapped but later admitted stabbing them, however he denied murder. Claiming self-defence, Cetin said: "I did it so I would not lose my girlfriend."
It was believed Cetin murdered the woman because Ms Graham would not allow him to marry her daughter, however when giving evidence last June, Shannon denied this was the case.
Recep's father Eyup, a taxi driver, was also arrested in connection with the murders in August. He was released but was re-arrested and charged with murder in December 2011. Both he and his son Recep strenuously denied he had any involvement in the murders.
Prolonging the trial further, Cetin claimed he was 17, meaning he would be tried in a juvenile court with more lenient sentences - facing eight years for murder rather than life. However, bone marrow tests later proved the former waiter was 22 at the time of the murders.
His defence also claimed he was mentally ill, but medical reports deemed the former waiter as sane, and a request for another psychiatric examination was rejected last month.
After more than 18 months of trial, on Wednesday three judges unanimously found 24-year-old Recep Cetin guilty of both murders and sentenced him to life imprisonment. His father Eyup Cetin was acquitted by a majority.
Outside the Turkish court, Baris Kaska, lawyer for both the Graham and Dinsmore families, described the case as "very tough", adding: "One of the problems is that it has never been clear why these murders were committed. We still have no meaningful answer."
George Dinsmore, brother of Cathy, said said the families were "very, very relieved" after hearing the verdict.
“A couple of days beforehand she couldn't find her passport to go, and she had to get a taxi to Dublin to get a new passport and it has always been in my mind that if she hadn't got the passport she wouldn't have been there.
"It's something he [Cetin] had been getting ready to do, it wasn't something that happened in the spur of the moment. It's pure evil. I can't understand how somebody can do that," Mr Dinsmore said.
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