Harry Uzoka murder: Model George Koh guilty of stabbing rival to death in row over woman

Britain’s 'most-famous black model' knifed outside home following feud involving girlfriend

Tom Barnes
Tuesday 14 August 2018 00:42 BST
Model found guilty of killing his more successful rival Harry Uzoka

A model has been found guilty of stabbing his fashion rival to death after an argument over a woman.

George Koh, 24, knifed Harry Uzoka in the heart, shoulder and back when he went to settle the dispute accompanied by two friends.

Mr Uzoka, who had met the group armed with only with a dumbbell bar, collapsed and died in the street outside his Shepherd’s Bush home following the attack in January this year.

Koh had denied murder, claiming he had carried two knives on his person because he was scared of being beaten up by Mr Uzoka and his friends.

But an Old Bailey jury found the former Louis Vuitton model guilty of murder after 18 hours of deliberations, along with his machete-wielding accomplice Merse Dikanda, 24.

A third person, personal trainer Jonathan Okigbo, 24, was convicted of manslaughter for his role in the attack.

Mr Uzoka was signed to London’s Premier Model Agency and was described in court as Britain’s “most-famous black model”.

The 25-year-old appeared to have a glittering career ahead of him and shortly before his death had accepted his first film role after starring in advertising campaigns for Zara and Mercedes-Benz.

However, he developed a feud with the less-successful Koh, who bragged to others in the industry he had sex with Mr Uzoka’s girlfriend, catwalk model Ruby Campbell.

Prosecutor Richard Horwell QC said: “Koh claimed that he knew Uzoka well and then said that he had sex with Uzoka's girlfriend and that was the reason why they no longer talked.”

Giving evidence, model Chuck Achike said both he and close friend Mr Uzoka had been aware of rumours created by Koh and had laughed them off as “petty and young”.

However, the dispute soon escalated and on 11 January, when Mr Uzoka received a message from Koh saying: “Where you I'll come there n we can fight bring ur friends with u.”

Male model George Koh was found guilty of murdering rival Harry Uzoka
Male model George Koh was found guilty of murdering rival Harry Uzoka (Metropolitan Police)

Mr Uzoka replied: “Come Shepherd's Bush.”

The defendants took a minicab and confronted Mr Uzoka and his flatmate Adrian Harper outside their address.

Mr Harper, who also had a metal pole, told jurors: “I was expecting a fist fight but I took the bell bar because I knew we were outnumbered.

“I had no idea and did not expect that knives would be used and I would not have gone out if I had thought knives would be used.”

Giving evidence, Koh said he was “worried Harry's friends would beat me up” after he unsuccessfully tried to call to apologise.

Koh, of Camden, said he lashed out in self-defence and hit Mr Uzoka's shoulder, but could not remember stabbing him in the chest.

“Although Merse had a machete and I had two knives it was Harry who was the aggressor,” he told the court.

“I told Harry it was ridiculous. We could be brothers. It was over a girl. Harry said 'I don't care' and swung the pole at my head and nearly hit me.”

Upon hearing the jury’s verdict on Monday, Judge Wendy Joseph QC adjourned the hearing until next month, when all three defendants will sentenced.

“I want impact statements from Harry's family who have sat through the trial day after day with such dignity,” she added.

“I want to know how all this has impacted on them, not that it's hard to imagine but I want to hear it from them.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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