Popular DJ tortured to death near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, court told

Mehmet Koray Alpergin and his girlfriend were abducted as they returned home from a restaurant in Mayfair, central London, last October.

Emily Pennink
Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:03 BST
Six men are on trial at the Old Bailey variously accused of murder, kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice over the death of radio DJ Mehmet Koray Alpergin in October last year (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Six men are on trial at the Old Bailey variously accused of murder, kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice over the death of radio DJ Mehmet Koray Alpergin in October last year (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“Sadistic thugs” tortured a popular radio DJ to death near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a killing bearing the hallmarks of serious organised crime, a court has heard.

Mehmet Koray Alpergin and his girlfriend were abducted as they returned home from an expensive Italian restaurant in Mayfair, central London, last October, the Old Bailey was told.

They were taken to an empty wine bar backing on to White Hart Lane, where 43-year-old Mr Alpergin was allegedly beaten, throttled, scalded with boiling water, stabbed, maimed and violated.

His body was later dumped in Essex woodland and his 34-year-old girlfriend, Gozde Dalbudak, spent two days locked in a toilet before being freed, jurors were told.

It is obvious that before his death Koray Alpergin had been stripped naked and horrifically tortured. From the number and nature of the injuries sustained, the prosecution suggest that it is not hard to envisage a group of sadistic thugs taking it in turns to inflict injury

Crispin Aylett KC

Six men are on trial at the Old Bailey variously accused of murder, kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

Opening their trial on Wednesday, Crispin Aylett KC said: “It is obvious that before his death Koray Alpergin had been stripped naked and horrifically tortured.

“From the number and nature of the injuries sustained, the prosecution suggest that it is not hard to envisage a group of sadistic thugs taking it in turns to inflict injury, whether with punches and kicks, hitting him with a bat, scalding him with boiling water, stabbing hisfeet…”

Jurors heard that Mr Alpergin, who was originally from northern Cyprus, was a well-known and popular figure in the British Turkish community and owner of a Turkish language radio station in London, Bizim FM.

Before his death, he had seemed anxious and on edge rather than his usual “happy-go-lucky” self, jurors heard.

Last September 24 – the day after a tracker had been fitted to his Audi – a friend had quipped about being bugged as his car was making odd noises. Rather than laughing, he went very quiet, jurors were told.

He was also said to have been heavily in debt with a host of claims against him, including £32,405 for his Audi.

On the evening of October 13 last year, his attackers had been lying in wait for him and Ms Dalbudak after one of them installed the tracking device, it was claimed.

As they returned home in Enfield, north London, father-of-two Mr Alpergin was bundled into a white van, while Ms Daldudak was led over to the vehicle by a masked knifeman, it was alleged.

The van and two cars drove away in convoy to an alleyway in White Hart Lane in Tottenham which led to the rear of the Stadium Lounge wine bar, jurors were told.

Mr Aylett said: “It was here, in the Stadium Lounge, that Koray Alpergin was murdered.

“As for Godze Dalbudak, she spent almost two days shut up inside a lavatory at the Stadium Lounge. It was not until the late afternoon of Saturday October 15 that she was released.”

This was, on any view, a terrible crime and one in which a large number of people played some part

Crispin Aylett KC

Mr Alpergin’s naked body was transported to Loughton in Essex, where it was dumped in woods on October 15 and found by a dog walker a few hours later.

Mr Aylett said a post-mortem examination identified 94 separate injuries to his body which was covered in cuts and bruises.

The prosecutor said: “He had sustained what must have been a hefty blow to his head, which had in fact caused brain damage.

“He had injuries to his neck that were consistent with the use of a ligature to strangle him.

“He had 14 fractured ribs, and the linear pattern of the bruising to his chest suggested the use of something like a baseball bat.

“He had a number of injuries to his skin which were consistent with his having been scalded with boiling water.

“The soles of both feet had been stabbed with something sharp.”

The prosecution allege that Koray Alpergin was kidnapped and tortured either so that he might be punished for something that he had done or else forced to give up something that he knew ... and which his kidnappers also wanted to know

Crispin Aylett KC

Mr Aylett said there were also wounds to the victim’s genitals and an internal injury.

He told jurors: “This was, on any view, a terrible crime and one in which a large number of people played some part.”

The use of vehicles with false number plates which were later burnt out bore “all the hallmarks of being linked to serious, organised crime – almost certainly drugs”, it was alleged.

Mr Aylett told jurors: “The prosecution allege that Koray Alpergin was kidnapped and tortured either so that he might be punished for something that he had done or else forced to give up something that he knew – perhaps the whereabouts of either drugs or money – and which his kidnappers also wanted to know.”

Steffan Gordon, 34, of Northolt, Tejean Kennedy, 33, of Cricklewood Broadway, Samuel Owusu-Opoku, 35, of Wood Green, Junior Kettle, 32, of Archway, Ali Kavak, 26, from Tottenham, and Erdogan Ulcay, 56, from Camden, are in the dock.

Gordon, Kennedy, Owusu-Opoku, Kettle and Kavak deny murder and two counts of false imprisonment.

Kennedy, Owusu-Opoku, Kettle, and Kavak deny kidnapping the two victims, which Gordon admits.

Ulcay and Kavak also deny perverting the course of justice which allegedly included disposing of Mr Alpergin’s body and destroying two vehicles by fire. Owusu-Opoku has admitted the charge.

The trial before Judge Sarah Whitehouse KC continues.

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