A 34-year old man who stabbed his estranged wife’s new boyfriend to death will serve a minimum of 14 years in prison.
Mr Justice Treacy said at Belfast Crown Court on Friday it was his view that Turkish national Orhan Koca armed himself in advance then went to his former family home in Twinbrook, south-west Belfast, with the intention of killing Eamonn Magee Junior.
Describing 22-year old Mr Magee as a “promising young boxer and student”, Mr Justice Treacy said Koca was motivated by jealousy (since Magee had been seeing his former partner).
Father of three Koca (pictured) was effectively homeless at the time of the killing and sometimes slept in a pub where he worked.
He was told he will serve a minimum of 14 years of his life sentence before he is considered eligible for release.
Speaking afterwards, the murdered man’s father – former world champion boxer Eamonn Magee Senior – said: “No sentence imposed will ever bring back my son.”
Koca had denied stabbing Mr Magee on May 30, 2015. However, after later pleading guilty to the murder, Koca said he was at his estranged wife’s house and believed an intruder was inside, picked up a broken blade from a pair of shears in the garden, and lunged when he saw a man come out of the house.
Branding these claims “wholly implausible”, the judge said it was instead “a pre-meditated and planned murder”.
Mr Justice Treacy said Koca was “very possessive” of his estranged wife and was “aggressive” if he thought Ms Ward was attracting the attention of other men.
His estranged wife had said Koca told her he would be “watching the house”.
Mr Justice Treacy added that at the time of the fatal stabbing Koca had lost his wife, his home and was a hard-working yet isolated man, and appeared to be a caring father – but said these circumstances “are of little weight having regard to the gravity of the crime”.
Regarding the murder, Detective Superintendent John McVeigh said: “This was a pre-meditated murder. This was a pre-planned and a sustained attack.
“We know that Orhan Koca had followed and monitored on social media the activities of Eamonn Magee - Eamonn Magee was in fact the most searched item on his telephone and on the internet.
“We know that he deleted photographs of Eamonn Magee on the night of the murder which he had previously downloaded.
“He (Koca) lay in wait in the rear garden of his estranged wife’s home and waited for Eamonn to come out and attacked him unprovoked.
“He (Mr Magee) received several stab wounds and unfortunately, despite best attempts, they were fatal injuries.
“I hope today the sentencing handed out will bring some degree of justice to the family.”
DS McVeigh described the murder as “brutal” and said it was motivated by Koca’s jealousy.
The policeman said: “We know that he armed himself with a substantial size of a knife and brought it to the murder scene. This pre-meditation and the use of such a lethal weapon such as the knife goes some way to showing the level of violence Orhan Koca was capable of.
“Anyone who has the ability and capability of lying in wait for a defenceless person and who uses a lethal weapon such as a knife in this manner is clearly a dangerous person, and I am delighted for the family that Orhan Koca is serving 14 years of a minimum life sentence.”