Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Turkish murders appeal fails

The man convicted of murdering two Newry women while they were on holiday in Turkey has lost an appeal against two life sentences.

Recep Cetin, who stabbed best friends Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore to death in a frenzied knife attack on the outskirts of the city of Izmir in August 2011 had maintained he killed the women in self defence.

The 26 year old Turkish waiter had been fighting the sentencing for almost two years but the Turkish appeal court last week threw out the false claims and his application for a reduced sentence.

Instead, Cetin was told he will serve at least 30 years of two life sentences for the brutal double murder before he will be considered for release.

Cetin, who was dating Ms Graham’s teenage daughter Shannon when he murdered the women,  was initially charged with carrying out the murders alone, until new DNA evidence placed his fifty two year old father at the scene, and led to him being charged with the murders alongside his son.

Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore, both in their early 50’s, had been holidaying in the seaside resort of Kusadasi with Ms Graham’s daughter Shannon when they were murdered.  On the day of the killings Cetin had taken the pair on a trip to Izmir where he stabbed them to death and left their bodies in a wooded park on the outskirts of the city.

Ms Graham was stabbed 17 times in the attack and Ms Dinsmore suffered 35 stab wounds.

The Turkish waiter came under suspicion when police were contacted by a witness who claimed to have spotted Cetin with blood on his T-shirt and a cut to his hand.

When questioned he told police that someone had kidnapped the two women and attacked him.

Police interrogated him for three hours until he admitted to killing the women.

Cetin subsequently took police to the murder scene, where a knife was recovered.

The murder trial was beset by delays when bone marrow tests had to be carried out which revealed his true age to be twenty two, and not seventeen, as he had previously claimed when arrested.  The trial was further delayed when Cetin claimed he was psychiatrically ill. Further medical examinations proved he was not.

His father Eyup Cetin was acquitted of double murder in October 2013.

Speaking after Recep Cetin’s failed appeal, Baris Kaska, lawyer for the victims’ families described the court’s ruling as “fantastic news for justice”.

“This is very good news. He has no avenues left to appeal. Justice has been served,” Mr Kaska added.