'My love, don't be scared': Turkish radio DJ's final words to girlfriend after abduction

Mehmet Koray Alpergin was killed near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London after being grabbed on his way home from a Mayfair restaurant

Mehmet Koray Alpergin. PA
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A Turkish radio DJ told his girlfriend he loved her, apologised and said “don’t be scared” as he was being beaten by two men who have been convicted of torturing and killing him.

Mehmet Koray Alpergin and Gozde Dalbudak were abducted as they returned home from an 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, near Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where 43-year-old Mr Alpergin was beaten, throttled, scalded with boiling water, stabbed, maimed and horrifically violated.

His body was dumped in Essex woodland and Ms Dalbudak, 34, 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.

Jurors were told the killing 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. They were also found guilty of locking his girlfriend in the toilet.

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 heavily in debt and owed £32,405 on 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 travelled from Mayfair in London to their 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."

Mr Alpergin's naked body was found by a dog walker after being dumped in woods near Loughton in Essex on October 15.

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

The examination found evidence Mr Alpergin had been beaten with a baseball bat, scalded with boiling water and had the soles of his feet stabbed.

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", Mr Aylett said.

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."

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, Kennedy, Owusu-Opoku and Kavak were remanded into custody to be sentenced on December 12.

They will be joined by Yigit Hurman, 18, who admitted perverting the course of justice.

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

Updated: December 01, 2023, 9:47 AM