Shannon to testify in Turkey in trial of boyfriend for murder of mother and friend
Published 25/11/2011 | 08:05
SCHOOLGIRL Shannon Graham is to return to Turkey to give evidence against her former boyfriend who is accused of murdering her mother and another woman from the North.
The 15-year-old has agreed to attend a preliminary court hearing in Izmir to tell a judge her version of events leading up to and following the brutal murders of her mother Marion Graham (54) and Kathy Dinsmore (53).
Her concerned family had not wanted her to attend, but the teenager insisted she wanted to help get justice for her mother.
The teenager's then Turkish boyfriend, a waiter called Recep Cetin, is accused of stabbing to death Ms Graham and Ms Dinsmore, from Newry, Co Down, who were regular visitors to the Aegean resort of Kusadasi, last August.
Their bodies were discovered in a remote forest area on the outskirts of Izmir.
Post-mortem results show that both women had desperately tried to defend themselves.
Mr Cetin will be brought before a court in December for the first stage of his trial and is expected to give evidence.
Shannon will also attend the hearing and give evidence on behalf of the prosecution.
Last night her father Raymond McGuinness told the Irish Independent he had not wanted Shannon to attend.
"I did not want her to go as she is still very vulnerable but she told me she wanted to," he said. "We had been told that if she didn't go it could delay the case by several months and we don't want that to happen.
"I am worried about her being in the same court as him (Cetin). I don't want him near her or anywhere where he can have eye contact with her.
"Our lawyer is going to speak to the judge to see if she can give her evidence in another room," he said.
Shannon had been on a boat trip with friends on the day that Mr Cetin coaxed her mother and Ms Dinsmore to take a trip with him from Kusadasi to Izmir.
The next time Shannon saw her boyfriend was later that evening when he arrived home with cuts to his hands claiming that her mother and Ms Dinsmore had been kidnapped and that he had been attacked trying to help them.
Mr Cetin later confessed to police that he had killed the women. The first stage of the double murder trial will be held in a juvenile court as suspicion continues to remain over Mr Cetin's true age.
He is claiming to be 17, but the victims' families believe he is much older and want him tried and sentenced in an adult court. In the area of Turkey where Mr Cetin was born many women have home births and there is therefore no accurate record of date of birth.