Turkish waiter Recep Cetin loses double murder appeal
A vicious killer who murdered two women from Northern Ireland while they were on holiday in Turkey has lost an appeal against two life sentences, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
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, had tried to convince an appeal court that the killings had been carried out in self defence.
However, Turkey's highest appeal court this week threw out his false claims and an application for a reduced sentence.
The court told the 26-year-old Turkish waiter he will serve at least 30 years of two life sentences for the double murder before he will be considered for release.
He had been fighting the sentences through the courts for almost two years.
A lawyer for the victims' families last night briefed them about the latest developments in the case.
Baris Kaska 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.
Cetin was dating Ms Graham's teenage daughter Shannon when he murdered the women.
The trio had been holidaying in the seaside resort of Kusadasi in August 2011 when the two women were killed.
Ms Graham, from Newry, was stabbed 17 times in the attack and Ms Dinsmore, from Warrenpoint, suffered 35 stab wounds.
The two women, who were both in their early 50s, were good friends who had often gone on holiday together.
On the day of their murder, Cetin took Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore from Kusadasi to Izmir for a short trip.
When they arrived he stabbed them to death and left their bodies in a wooded park on the outskirts of the city.
Cetin then took his father's car and drove back to Kusadasi.
The police became involved in the case when someone contacted them to say they had spotted Cetin with blood on his T-shirt and a cut to his hand.
When they spoke with him he told them someone had kidnapped the two women and attacked him.
Suspicious about his claims, police interrogated him for three hours until he admitted to killing them.
He then took police to the spot in Izmir where he had left their bodies. A knife was recovered at the scene.
The murder trial was delayed because the killer falsely claimed to be aged 17 in an attempt to be tried in the juvenile courts where sentences are lighter.
In parts of Turkey it is not uncommon for births to be officially registered a number of months, sometimes years, after the actual birth date.
Bone marrow tests confirmed that the waiter was aged 22 at the time of the murders.
The trial was further delayed when Recep Cetin said he was psychiatrically ill. Further medical examinations showed that he was not.
Cetin had attempted to convince the courts that he had killed the women in self defence but the court rejected his argument.
His father Eyup Cetin was acquitted of double murder in October 2013.
The chief judge voted to find Eyup Cetin guilty but was overruled by his colleagues' decisions. Speaking after her former boyfriend was convicted of killing her mother, Shannon Graham said the "horrendous" stabbing had torn her family apart.