A landlord has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years after being convicted of the brutal double murder of his flat mate’s partner and her best friend.
Mehmet Ozen, 41, of Red Lion Street, stabbed to death Darren Harwood and Charlotte Piccaver, both 26, following a row over rent money.
A murder trial jury heard how Mr Harwood, a DJ from Sleaford, and Miss Piccaver, from Spalding, were both fatally stabbed in the throat after Ozen “went mad” striking out with a large kitchen knife at his Red Lion Street flat.
Passing sentence Mr Justice Flaux told Ozen he could only pass a life sentence. Ozen will have to serve a minimum of 27 years before he is considered for parole.
Mr Justice Flaux said: “What is clear is that this was a brutal attack on two young people who at the time were unarmed. This was a deliberate, targeted revenge attack.”
The judge added: “The psychological and emotional impact of the murder of these two young people on their parents and their siblings has been truly devastating. In a very real sense you have destroyed their lives as well.”
John Pini, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court the knife attack was an act of revenge by Ozen, who also lived in the property, after he was injured in a scuffle with Miss Wright and her two friends two days earlier.
Giving evidence, Miss Wright, 24, said: “He (Ozen) came out of his bedroom shouting at me about the rent. I couldn’t really understand him. He was aggressive.
“The next I remember is him waving a knife in my face. I screamed at him to leave me alone.
“He came at me with the knife. He stepped forward and lunged up towards my throat. I put my right arm up. If I hadn’t done that the knife would have got my throat.
“It cut my arm.”
“I didn’t see Darren. I started going to the floor in the kitchen. My next memory is seeing Charlotte lying on the bedroom floor. I don’t know how she came to be there.
“Ozen was stood over Charlotte but I didn’t see the knife. Then I saw Darren on the kitchen floor.”
Miss Piccaver was so severely injured she died at the scene. Mr Harwood was stabbed in the neck with a blow that cut his main artery and suffered three other stab wounds.
Mr Harwood was able speak to hospital staff before he passed away.
Ozen, who had recently become a British citizen, claimed he acted in self defence after Miss Wright walked in to his bedroom at 4.30am armed with a knife. But the jury convicted him of both murders which happened on April 21.
They failed to reach a verdict on a charge of attempted murder on Miss Wright.
The jury was told that Ozen had sublet the flat to Miss Wright after losing his job and getting into financial difficulty. She paid him four weeks rent in advance but they argued after he asked her for more money.