MURDER TRIAL: Landlord ‘went crazy’ over rent money

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Two people were murdered and a third was stabbed after a landlord “went crazy” following a row about rent money, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Landlord Mehmet Ali Ozen, who rented a flat above a shop in Red Lion Street, Boston, and sublet the second floor to Keyleigh Wright allegedly confronted her with a knife following the argument in the early hours.

John Pini QC , prosecuting, told the jury that Ozen was angry after discovering that Ms Wright had complained to the property owner about the fact that he asked her for more money despite the fact she had paid rent in advance.

Ozen, who had financial problems after losing his job, apparently had not passed the rent money on to the main landlord and was in arrears.

The jury heard that Ms Wright together with her boyfriend Darren Harwood and her flatmate Charlotte Piccaver had been arrested 48 hours before the fatal night accused of assaulting Ozen only to be later released without charge.

Mr Pini told the jury that the incident on 21 April which left both Mr Harwood and Ms Piccaver with fatal injuries was a revenge attack by Ozen for the earlier problems.

He said that Ms Wright was attacked by Ozen after entering their shared kitchen to fetch a drink.

Ozen brandished a large kitchen knife and then stabbed at Ms Wright but she managed to deflect the blow with her right arm.

She was cut and then stabbed again in the side when Ms Piccaver and Mr Harwood came to her aid.

Emergency services arrived just after 5 am arrived to find Ms Piccaver dead on the floor in Ozen’s bedroom.

Mr Harwood, who lived in Sleaford and worked as a DJ at the Magnet Tavern in Boston, was seriously injured after being stabbed four times. He was bleeding heavily and died later in hospital while undergoing an operation.

Mr Pini said that Mr Harwood was able speak to hospital staff before he passed away.

“He said he was protecting his girlfriend when her was stabbed with a large knife. He [Ozen] suddenly gone off. It was at my girlfriend and her flatmate. I went to her. Then he went nuts. He went crazy. He went nuts and started stabbing me.”

Ozen later claimed he acted in self defence after being attacked but Mr Pini said “His actions went far beyond what would be considered a reasonable and proportionate use of self defence.

“The injuries were caused by deliberately targeted thrusts to the neck. The intention can only have been to kill. This wasn’t reasonable self defence. This was total loss of temper in a fatal revenge attack.”

Ozen, 41, of Red Lion Street, Boston, denies the murders of Darren Harwood and Charlotte Piccaver and the attempt murder of Keyleigh Wright on 21 April this year.

The trial continues.