Life sentence for Harrogate taxi driver who murdered love rival

Oktay Kilic
Oktay Kilic
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A HARROGATE taxi driver who stabbed his wife’s lover to death after tracking the pair’s secret liaison in a country lane was today jailed for life after being found guilty of murder.

Turkish-born Oktay Kilic, 40, used a kitchen knife to cause kill Mark Berney in what police describe as a “savage and brutal attack” as his wife Kathleen Kilic and the couple’s children looked on.

Victim Mark Berney

Victim Mark Berney

Kilic, a taxi driver, confronted and attacked Mr Berney after tracking down his wife’s car to Whipley Bank in Ripley using a computer and his own smart phone, which he had secretly placed in the boot of the vehicle.

He then drove to the Wigan area of Greater Manchester where he handed himself in to police at 2.40am on August 4, North Yorkshire Police say.

Despite the efforts of paramedics to save Mr Berney, who was found in the passenger seat of Kilic’s wife’s car, he was pronounced dead at the scene. A major police operation was launched overnight to locate and arrest Kilic.

According to North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, evidence gathered by detectives show Kilic “carried out a pre-meditated attack intended to inflict horrendous injuries in an act of vengeance”.

Picture shows Kathleen Kilic appearing at Leeds Crown Court.

Picture shows Kathleen Kilic appearing at Leeds Crown Court.

He was handed a life sentence today after being convicted of murder following a trial at Leeds Crown Court. He has to serve a minimum of 27 years before he will be considered for parole.

During the trial he denied intending to murder his love rival in the knife attack, stating he “only wanted to hurt him”. The court heard that following his arrest, he told police: “I stabbed him, I hope he is not dead.”

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit and the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “As a result of Oktay Kilic’s savage and brutal attack on Mark Berney and his conviction for murder, he will quite rightly be serving a lengthy prison sentence.

“Although I appreciate nothing will ever compensate the tragic loss of Mark Berney to his family and friends, I hope the result provides them with some comfort and satisfaction.”

In a statement, the family of Mr Berney, from Knaresborough, said: “Following the verdict, we feel that justice has been done and Mark can now rest in peace.

“The events of 3 August 2014 will never be far from our minds and the past six months have been the most traumatic and distressing time for Mark’s family, relatives and friends.

“Although Otkay Kilic will serve a long custodial sentence, the family will also serve our private sentence of never seeing Mark again. We wish to thank North Yorkshire Police for all their support throughout the investigation.”