Camden model George Koh found guilty of killing better-known rival Harry Uzoka over girl
- Credit: Archant
Camden model George Koh, 24, has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering his well-known fashion rival Harry Uzoka, 25, on January 11 this year.
Koh was convicted along with fellow defendant Merse Dikanda, while another Camden man, Jonathan Okigbo, 24, was cleared of murder but convicted of Mr Uzoka’s manslaughter.
Koh, stabbed Mr Uzoka in the chest during a fight organised to settle an argument over Koh’s boast to a female model, Annecetta Lafon, that he had had sex with Mr Uzoka’s girlfriend, Ruby Campbell.
Mr Uzoka, 25, who was armed only with a dumbell bar, collapsed and died in the street outside his Shepherd’s Bush home.
Koh had denied murder, claiming he carried two knives because he was scared Mr Uzoka and his friends would beat him up.
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However, an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of murder, along with his machete-wielding friend Merse Dikanda, 24.
Personal trainer Jonathan Okigbo, also 24, was convicted of manslaughter. All three men will be sentenced on September 21.
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Mr Uzoka was signed with London’s Premier Model Management agency and counted catwalk star Jourdan Dunn among his friends.
He had recently landed a film role but became annoyed by the less successful copycat Koh, who was said to resemble him.
The relationship soured when Koh bragged to Paris-based model Ms Lafon about his supposed sexual relationship with Ms Campbell
On January 11, Mr Uzoka received a message from Koh saying: “Where you I’ll come there n we can fight bring ur friends with u.”
Mr Uzoka, who was known as H, replied: “Come Shepherd’s Bush.”
The defendants took a minicab and confronted Mr Uzoka and his flatmate Adrian Harper outside their address.
Mr Harper, who was also carrying a metal pole, told jurors: “I was expecting a fist fight but I took the bell bar because I knew we were outnumbered.
“I had no idea and did not expect that knives would be used and I would not have gone out if I had thought knives would be used.
“I had my pole up my right sleeve. They turned. They were ready to fight. I took my pole out. I saw George had his hand to his side, a knife in each hand.”
He told jurors that Okigbo chased after him while his friend was cornered by the other two men.
Mr Harper said: “I went left, Harry went right. I stopped and saw that Harry was cornered by the other two. It looked like they were talking. They were like right up in front of him, I think to make sure he could not go anywhere. But my attention was on the man chasing me.”
When he saw his friend again Mr Uzoka said “I’ve been stabbed,” and collapsed in the road.
Giving evidence, Koh said he was “worried Harry’s friends would beat me up” after he unsuccessfully tried to call to apologise.
The night before the killing, he said three young men he thought were Mr Uzoka’s friends had stood outside his Camden home “to intimidate” him.
On the fight, he said: “Although Merse had a machete and I had two knives it was Harry who was the aggressor.
“I told Harry it was ridiculous. We could be brothers. It was over a girl. Harry said ‘I don’t care’ and swung the pole at my head and nearly hit me.”
Koh said he lashed out in self defence and hit Mr Uzoka’s shoulder but could not remember stabbing him in the chest.
Detective Inspector Simon Pickford, who investigated the case, said: “It beggars belief as to how such a trivial argument over what has been described as ‘pillow talk’ could escalate to the point where a group of men arrange to meet with weapons in a busy London street, prepared to seriously injure each other.”