Man jailed for double murder

 

A man was jailed for life today for two murders and a string of "senseless" assaults.

Turkish Ali Koc, 30, pounced on his victims during a "wanton" crime spree of "violence for violence's sake", leaving them battered and bruised in parks and woodland close to his home.

One of two elderly men who died from his catastrophic injuries had been out on a routine morning walk which "cost him his life", prosecutors said.

Sentencing Koc at Woolwich Crown Court, south-east London, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith told him the unprovoked attacks illustrated the "diverse nature of London's population and the best and worst of its citizens".

Koc, of Hornsey in north London, was convicted by a jury of two murders and five counts of grievous bodily harm after a month-long trial.

The defendant, who lived on benefits and handouts from his parents, showed no emotion as he was told he would serve a minimum of 35 years, less the time he has already spent in custody.

Sentencing Koc, who has 18 previous convictions, the judge said the he had a "fondness for fighting" and became enraged after his welfare payments were stopped for an unknown reason shortly before his crime spree.

"I am certain that this (tendency towards violence) was increased by not being able to spend as much money as you had done in the past, even though your mother would help you out," Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said.

Describing Koc has a man who spent his days watching violent films, listening to music and wandering the streets, he added: "The attacks were vicious, random and with no motivation other than, in the words of one of the victims, 'the infliction of violence for violence's sake'.

"All illustrate the diverse nature of London's population and the best and worst of its citizens."

During a four-week period in January last year, Koc targeted lone men, selecting dog walkers, joggers or people who were simply out walking.

His victims, aged between 29 and 84, were "violently and indeed senselessly" subjected to either head-butting, punching, kicking or battery with lumps of wood, prosecutor Brian Altman QC told jurors at his trial.

Victor Parsons, 67, died on February 22 last year, while Koc's oldest victim. Keith Needell, was pronounced dead on July 16 the same year - nearly six months after he was set upon.

The five other men were not gravely injured but "that was not for want of trying", Mr Altman said.

"These were quite simply wanton attacks - violence for violence's sake - committed, say the prosecution, by the same man on a crime spree in the same geographical location of north London," he said.

"As a result, as you know, two men died of their injuries and others were left beaten and bruised by their ordeal."

Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that Koc may have pounced on others.

Each time he dealt the blows at a location within a 2.5km radius of his own address, in a part of the capital with which he was very familiar.

The attacks happened in broad daylight, usually before mid-morning or around lunch time.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield from the Metropolitan Police, described the spree as "brutal and sadistic".

"There can be no doubt that Koc is a highly dangerous and predatory individual who derived some warped sense of gratification from carrying out these abhorrent attacks," he said.

Paying tribute to Mr Parsons, his sister Rosemary said: "He was a good brother who stood by me when I needed him. He will be sadly missed."

Mary Needell, Mr Needell's wife, said: "Keith is greatly missed by all his family, friends and those whose lives he touched and enriched.

"Such a kind and gentle man should never have suffered in such a brutal and senseless manner."

In a victim impact statement read to the court ahead of sentencing, the son of retired quantity surveyor Mr Needell reduced one juror to tears as he spoke of his anguish and anger.

"I see an individual in the dock not adding to society, for taking money, support and other people's lives and happiness with a disdain for others," John Needell said.

"His selfish nature is such a complete opposite to my father that I wonder how he could ever be part of the same species as the rest of humanity.

"Frankly I pity him for what is obviously such a bleak and pointless existence.

"He is a weak individual that can offer nothing positive to anyone, even himself."

Members of Koc's family wept as the defendant, who lived with his parents, was led from the dock.

It came after the judge said relatives believed an addiction to cannabis set him on a path which led to his "brutal campaign of violence" and they offered no personal mitigation on his behalf.

Instead, the court was told Koc was a man of "bad character" who fostered anger towards the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

When his benefits stopped, he phoned the DWP repeatedly, sometimes hurling racist abuse at the call operator.

On one occasion, he even dialled 999 to complain about the service he was getting.

His previous convictions involved five counts of burglary or attempted burglary; three for assault, one for possession of a knife and a "large number" for possession of cannabis, the court was told.

He was jailed on five previous occasions.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreEXCLUSIVE The Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs his surreal series returns, the comedian on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
music‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do 'The Independent’s' experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
News
news
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary