Pair guilty of kidnapping radio DJ and torturing him to death in empty wine bar

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Mehmet Koray Alpergin, who was tortured to death near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in a killing bearing the hallmarks of serious organised crime, the Old Bailey has heard. Six men are on trial at the Old Bailey variously accused of murder, kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. 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. Issue date: Thursday October 20, 2022.
Mehmet Koray Alpergin, 43, was taken to an empty wine bar and beaten, throttled, scalded with boiling water, maimed and stabbed. Credit: PA

Two men have been convicted of "horrifically torturing" a popular radio DJ in a bar near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, killing him, and locking his girlfriend in a toilet for two days.

Mehmet Koray Alpergin and Gozde Dalbudak were kidnapped as they returned home from an Italian restaurant in Mayfair, central London, in October 2022, 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 horrifically violated.

He was said to have been maimed, beaten with a baseball bat, throttled, scalded with boiling water and stabbed in the soles of his feet.

His naked body was dumped in woodland near Loughton in Essex, which a dog walker discovered two days after the attack.

Meanwhile 34-year-old Ms Dalbudak spent two days locked in a toilet before being freed by her captors and given money for a taxi.

Ms Dalbudak, who has since returned to her home in Turkey, recalled her boyfriend telling her “my love, don’t be scared” and “sorry, my love” before he cried out in pain as he was beaten.

The attack took place in an empty wine bar close to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Credit: PA

Jurors were told the killing, and the attackers' use of false number plates which were later burned, bore “all the hallmarks” of serious organised crime and the world of drugs.

A jury deliberated for nearly 48 hours to find Tejean Kennedy, 33, and Ali Kavak, 26, guilty of the kidnap and false imprisonment of the couple and Mr Alpergin’s manslaughter.

Samuel Owusu-Opoku, 35, was found guilty of two counts of kidnap. Steffan Gordon, 34, had admitted kidnap and was found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment.

Kavak was also convicted of perverting the course of justice by helping to dispose of Mr Alpergin’s body and destroying two vehicles by fire. Owusu-Opoku admitted the charge.

Mr Alpergin, who was originally from northern Cyprus, was a well-known and popular figure in the British Turkish community.

He owned a Turkish language radio station in London, Bizim FM, and had in the past been pictured with celebrities from the worlds of high-end cuisine and rap.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett KC had told jurors the normally “happy-go-lucky” DJ had seemed anxious and on edge in the days before his death.

Unknown to Mr Alpergin, a tracker had been fitted to his Audi car on September 23 last year. The next day, when he noticed the car was making odd noises, a friend had quipped about it being bugged and rather than laugh, he went quiet, the court was told.

The victim was also heavily in debt owing £32,405 for the Audi as well as other claims against him.

On the evening of October 13 last year, his abductors had been lying in wait for him and Ms Dalbudak having used the tracking device to follow their movements.

As the couple 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.

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 where Mr Alpergin was killed.

Mr Aylett said: “It is obvious that before his death Koray Alpergin had been stripped naked and horrifically tortured.

“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.”

A post-mortem examination identified 94 separate injuries to Mr Alpergin's body, including cuts and bruises, broken ribs, a heavy blow to the head and strangulation marks to the neck.

Mr Aylett told jurors that the victim was 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."

Giving evidence, Kavak said he did not know what was going on and claimed he disposed of the body while “under duress”.

In his evidence, Gordon also denied knowledge of what was happening. Other defendants declined to give evidence, with Kennedy and Owusu-Opoku denying their presence in the van or at the Stadium Lounge.

Gordon, of Northolt, Kennedy, of Cricklewood Broadway, Owusu-Opoku, of Wood Green, and Kavak, from Tottenham were remanded into custody to be sentenced on December 12.

They will be joined by Yigit Hurman, 18, from Muswell Hill, north London, who admitted perverting the course of justice.

Two more suspects are believed to have fled abroad. Two other defendants were cleared of wrongdoing.

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