Tuesday 23 January 2018

Tragic pals begin their long journey home where grieving families await

Deborah McAleese

FROM a dingy yard at the side of Izmir courthouse, best friends Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore finally began their long journey home.

At around 2pm yesterday afternoon, their bodies were placed inside wooden boxes at the door of the courthouse morgue and gently set side by side in the back of a private ambulance. It was inside this same building that Marion's former husband Raymond McGuinness and her son David formally identified the women on Saturday afternoon.

There was little ceremony as the coffins were wheeled on a trolley through the car park towards the waiting ambulance. No family members were present. The official release process took several hours to complete to ensure that all forensic and DNA evidence had been gathered.

After the process was complete, the bodies were taken to a private hospital in the city to await the next available flight home.

A complete version of the autopsy reports is understood to have been presented to police yesterday.

The initial autopsy reports revealed that both women had been stabbed around 15 times, mainly in the chest area.

A source close to the investigation said that judging by the stab wounds "a lot of strength and force was used" by the killer.

This will likely form part of the case against the accused, 17-year-old Recep Cetin, pictured above, when considering pre-meditation and intent.

It could still be several months before Cetin appears in court to face the charges.

He is currently in a juvenile jail outside Izmir.

According to a court source, it could be at least two months before any kind of public court appearance.

The source also said that it was unlikely that 15-year-old Shannon would be called to give evidence in a court hearing.

Questions over the age of the accused could delay court proceedings. Police believe that Cetin is older than 17, and the prosecution may make moves to have his age officially confirmed through medical evidence, so that he can be tried in an adult court.

If he is found guilty in a juvenile court, Cetin faces up to 24 years in jail. But if convicted in an adult court he could be jailed for the rest of his life under an "aggravated life sentence".

Aggravated life sentences replaced the death penalty in Turkey almost 10 years ago. Anyone receiving this type of sentence is held in isolation for 23 hours a day.

Irish Independent

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