Recep Cetin guilty of murdering NI women in Turkey

Wednesday 02 October 2013 22.11
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Recep Cetin will serve a maximum of 30 years in prison
Recep Cetin will serve a maximum of 30 years in prison
Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore were holidaying in Turkey when they were killed
Marion Graham and Cathy Dinsmore were holidaying in Turkey when they were killed
The victims' families were in court in Turkey today
The victims' families were in court in Turkey today

A 24-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering two women from Northern Ireland in August 2011 in Turkey.

Recep Cetin was sentenced to life in prison. The lawyer for the victims' families said the maximum he will serve is 30 years.

Baris Kaska said double life imprisonment is the highest penalty the Court could impose and the families were satisfied with that.

Recep Cetin's father, Eyup, was found not guilty and has been released from custody.

Marion Graham, from Newry, and Cathy Dinsmore, from Warrenpoint, were found stabbed to death in an isolated forest overlooking the port city of Izmir.

Ms Graham, her daughter Shannon and Ms Dinsmore were holidaying in the resort town of Kusadasi on the Aegean coast.

Recep Cetin, who worked as a waiter in Kusadasi, was dating Shannon, who was 15 at the time.

He admitted taking Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore to Izmir on the pretext of a shopping trip and then stabbing them to death in the forest.

He claimed in court he committed the killings under "heavy provocation".

Eyup Cetin had denied being involved, saying he would have tried to stop the murders if he had been aware.

Both men addressed the court during the 30-minute hearing.

Recep once again said he killed the women, but claimed this was an act of self-defence.

His father denied he had any involvement in the murder, claiming a secret witness who placed him at the scene was lying.

The three judges found Recep guilty of aggravated murder, meaning he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Members of the victims' families travelled to Izmir to attend the court hearing.

Their lawyer Baris Kaska said it had been a fair trial, with Recep Cetin being handed down the heaviest possible sentence.

Ms Dinsmore's brother, George, said he was happy with the outcome and hoped it would bring closure so they could get on with their lives.

Shannon Graham, now 17, said she was "satisfied with the result" of the trial.

She described Recep Cetin's actions as horrendous, which tore her family apart.

She also said that two years after her mother's murder, it was still difficult.