Northern Ireland

Eamonn Magee murder: Orhan Koca sentenced to 14 years

Eamonn Magee Jr Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Eamonn Magee Jr died from stab wounds in the attack in west Belfast

A man who stabbed his estranged wife's new boyfriend to death has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

Eamonn Magee Jr, 22, died from stab wounds to the chest and stomach from the attack in Twinbrook, west Belfast.

He was a rising star in the boxing world, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father, also called Eamonn, a former welterweight champion.

Turkish national Orhan Koca, 34, of no fixed address, admitted the murder, just as his trial was about to begin.

Speaking after Koca's sentencing on at Belfast Crown Court on Friday, the victim's father Eamonn Magee Sr said: "The sentence imposed today will never bring back my son."

'Wholly implausible claims'

The judge said Koca had been motivated by jealousy and had armed himself before going to his former family home with the intention of killing the engineering student in May 2015.

Koca's version of events - that he went to the house believing there was an intruder inside - was both untrue and self-serving, the judge added.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Orhan Koca admitted killing the boxer in a knife attack in May 2015

He described Koca's claims as "wholly implausible", the judge said the "pre-meditated and planned murder" was "both brutal and sustained".

Mr Magee sustained six stab wounds in total, two of which were to the chest and therefore fatal.

At the time of the murder, the mother of Koca's three children was in a new relationship with Mr Magee after meeting him at the gym where he worked as a personal trainer.

Mr Magee stepped out of her house to check on a pizza delivery at about 02:30 BST on 30 May 2015 and was attacked by Koca.

'Love and compassion'

Mr Magee's blood was found splattered on a child's slide in the back yard and on a gate, while his blood-soaked glasses were later found lying in the garden.

The judge said Koca was "very possessive" of his estranged wife and became aggressive if he thought she was attracting the attention of other men.

He would check up on his ex-wife on Facebook, and had set up a fake profile to monitor both her and Mr Magee's profiles, the judge added.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Eamonn Magee Sr said the sentence would 'never bring back my son'

In a statement read outside court, Mr Magee's uncle Noel Magee said the family gave their "deepest gratitude to all those in Ireland and around the world" who had shown "so much love and compassion".

"We have been astounded by the acts of kindness we have encountered in these dark times, often from the most surprising sources," he said.

'Planned, unprovoked, vicious'

Det Supt John McVea of the Police Service of Northern Ireland said Mr Magee's life had been "cruelly cut short" due to Koca's "jealous rage".

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Mr Magee was the 'most-searched item' on Koca's social media before the 'planned, unprovoked and vicious attack, police said

"His dreams to take his boxing career to a higher level will now never be realised and his family have been denied a future with Eamonn," he added.

The detective said Mr Magee was the "most-searched item" on Koca's social media before the "planned, unprovoked and vicious" attack.

He said that police hoped that Koca's life sentence would "provide comfort and a degree of closure" for the Magee family.

But he added: "Let's not forget they are still facing a lifetime without their loved one."

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