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.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all