Mehmet Degerli: Husband 'murdered his estranged wife's new lover in Dalston car park', court hears
PUBLISHED: 10:22 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:13 01 December 2016
A spurned husband strangled and ran over his estranged wife's new lover in a Dalston car park, a court heard.
It is claimed Mehmet Degerli, 49, was killed by Huseyin Akkoyun and his nephew Mustafa Alparslan, 20, of Remington Road, Stoke Newington, on the night of June 7.
Both men deny murder.
Peter Finnigan QC told jurors at Southwark Crown Court yesterday: “At the period when the marriage was breaking down, Semra Yumak and Mehmet Degerli began to see each other privately and their friendship turned into an affair.
“They were careful to conceal the affair, not least because they feared what happened if others discovered what was going on.
“It turns out Mr Akkoyun did find out what was going on, and the prosecution say that was likely to be the motive for the attack on Mr Degerli.”
Jurors heard how father-of-two Mr Degerli had met up with Akkoyun’s estranged wife for a secret tryst in her car in Navarino Road.
But when they drove back she claims she saw the defendants in a Mitsubishi Colt, owned by Alparslan’s mother, in Sandringham Road.
Prosecutors claim the victim was “forced or lured” into the car just after midnight where he was “viciously attacked and beaten”.
The 49-year-old, from Stoke Newington, was discovered by a passer-by collapsed in a small residents’ car park at the junction with Cecilia Road just after 1am on June 8, jurors heard.
Mr Finnigan described how Omar Naz “immediately realised something was very wrong” when he saw a man lying on the ground “completely motionless”.
Paramedics tried to save his life at the scene, but his heart was not beating and was pronounced dead just before 2am. Blood was “trailing” from his head, it was said, and there was bruising across his eyes and nose, as well as across his back with what looked like “gravel rash”.
He was found to have wounds to his scalp, and one of his shoes and one of his socks were missing. They have never been recovered despite extensive police searches.
A pathologist who carried out a post-mortem on the body found Mr Degerli had multiple fractures to his ribs and shoulder blades. A small bone in his neck by his larynx had also been fractured, and this along with bruising of his neck and eye led them to conclude his neck had been compressed – possibly by some sort of ligature, causing asphyxia.
They estimate sustained pressure was applied to his neck for 20 to 30 seconds, which could have rendered him unconscious, jurors heard.
Injuries to his back were “so severe” the pathologist formed a view “they were consistent with him having been run over by the tyre of the vehicle,” Mr Finnigan told the court.
Akkoyun had been “a close friend” of Mr Degerli, it was said, and had been living in a flat in Homerton High Street since he moved out of his family home in April.
Mr Finnigan described how the older defendant “hadn’t taken the breakdown of his marriage well”.
He was served with a harrassment warning by police on May 16 – three weeks before the alleged murder – after his wife had “seen him repeatedly sitting outside in the road in his car for hours and hours watching her home”, where she lived with their four children.
On the night in question, the court heard Mr Degerli had parked his Nissan Qashqai in Sandringham Road, before getting into Mrs Yumak’s car at 10.30pm. They returned just after midnight, when Mrs Yumak claims she spotted the two defendants in the front seat of a Mitsubishi Colt near the Qashqai.
Mr Finnigan said: “She recognised them despite the fact they sunk down into the seats, they had caps on and pulled up their jackets.”
She continued driving and turned right into Abersham Road where she claims she saw her estranged husband’s empty Vauxhall Zafira, the jury was told.
“Mehmet said he would check to see if anyone was around and he would make his way back to his own car. That was the last time she saw him alive,” said Mr Finnigan.
Mrs Yumak was allegedly called at 3am by her close friend, Degerli’s own wife Fikreyi, who was in tears and had heard the news about her husband’s death.
“At first she concealed she and Mehmet Degerli were having an affair, denying she had been with him on the night he died, but she didn’t conceal it for long,” said Mr Finnigan.
Akkoyun was stopped by police later that day, who noticed his hands were “extremely swollen”, it was said. He told a doctor he had injured his hands when he had fallen over.
Two days later police went to Alparslan’s home, where he told them: “I know what this is about and I see you looking at my hands. I knocked them on the bed.”
A police officer checked his laptop and saw he had been searching for “how to speed up healing” on the internet, as well as searches for solicitors and barristers speicalising in criminal law, the court was told.
Spots and smears of Mr Degerli’s blood were found in the rear and front of the Colt car, as well as on the steering wheel of Akkoyun’s Zafira, it is claimed.
Akkoyun answered “no comment” to all questions when interviewed, as did Alparslan until a fourth interview when he provided a prepared statement.
Mr Finnigan told the court Alparslan had denied any “foresight of any assault or murder”, but had gone along on his uncle’s request to get video evidence of the affair so he could get custody of their children, and “prove the fact she left the children unattended at home”.
He claims Mr Degerli and his uncle had been arguing in the back of his car and a fight had broken out between them which he tried to break up. His uncle then pulled Mr Degerli out of his car and told him to leave – which he did – and he had not seen his uncle since.
The trial continues.