Rising boxing star Eamonn Magee Junior, 22, pictured with his nephew Cormac, was stabbed seven times in the chest and stomach by jealous Orhan Koca, 34
An amateur boxer was stabbed to death by his new girlfriend’s estranged husband when he went outside to check if their takeaway was being delivered.
Rising boxing star Eamonn Magee Junior, 22, from Belfast in Northern Ireland, was stabbed seven times in the chest and stomach by jealous Orhan Koca, 34.
Koca had been hiding with a knife outside the home of his ex-wife, Courtney Ward, after learning of her new relationship with Mr Magee.
A court heard jealous Koca had been stalking Mr Magee online and had downloaded images of him from social media.
When the boxer and engineering student popped outside the house to see if their pizza had arrived, Koca launched a ‘brutal and sustained’ attack.
Eamonn Jr, an engineering student at the University of Ulster and son of Northern Irish boxing legend, Eamonn Magee Sr, a former welterweight champion, died in the early hours of May 30, 2015 – two years before his family saw Koca jailed for 14 years for his murder.
Mr Magee’s sister, Aine, 25, a mother-of-two, said: ‘[Koca was] jealous of her seeing someone new, he’d been stalking Eamonn on social media and had downloaded pictures of him to his phone.
‘Unable to accept that she’d moved on, he’d warned Courtney not to see him.
‘But, discovering she’d ignored him, he’d stolen a knife from a local bar and stabbed Eamonn seven times with it.’
Amateur boxer Mr Magee with his sister, left, and his nephew and godson Cormac
Aine, whose brother was godfather to her son, Cormac, remembers going to see his body at the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital the next day.
She said: ‘Holding my mum’s hand tight, we sobbed together, seeing him lying there, covered in blood.
‘His hair was still perfect. Only Eamonn could be killed and still end up with perfect hair.
‘With only 13 months between us, we were more like best friends than brother and sister. Blessed with brains as well as brawn, he was studying for a degree in engineering, his boxing was taking off and he’d set up a personal training business, to have something to fall back on.’
Koca hid with a knife outside the home of his ex-wife, Courtney Ward, after learning of her new relationship with Mr Magee
A couple of days before his death, Ms Magee also discovered her brother had been dating one of his clients from his gym class – Courtney Ward.
‘I’d asked him how it was going,’ she continued. ‘He told me he really liked her. They’d been on a couple of dates and he was seeing her that evening.’
Eamonn and Aine as children with their brother and parents
Staying the night at her mum’s, Ms Magee was woken by a knock at the back door at 3am by one of his friends. When she rang Eamonn Jr’s number on her mobile, she was surprised to hear a crying girl answer.
‘I realised it was Courtney,’ she said. ‘I heard her scream, “He stabbed him Aine”.
‘I demanded she put my brother on the phone, but she said, “He’s dead Aine. He’s killed him.”
‘When the story of what had happened unfolded, for it to end in Eamonn’s death just seemed like utter madness.’
At Eamonn Jr’s funeral on June 6 2015, hundreds and hundreds of people packed St Joseph’s Church in Hannahstown, Belfast, to say goodbye.
But his family were forced to wait nearly two years for a trial date.
Then, in March 2017 Koca pleaded guilty to murder. Judge Mr Justice Treacy told Belfast Crown Court, how, motivated by jealousy, Koca – who claimed he had stabbed Eamonn Jr., mistaking him for an intruder – had armed himself with a knife and returned to his former family home in Twinbrook, Belfast, with the intention of killing him.
Jailing Koca for a minimum of 14 years, he said: ‘I am satisfied that this was a pre-mediated and planned murder, which was both brutal and sustained and where the intention was to take life.’
At Eamonn Jr’s funeral on June 6 2015, hundreds and hundreds of people packed St Joseph’s Church in Hannahstown, Belfast, to say goodbye
While Eamonn Jr’s family agreed with his summing-up, they felt Koca’s sentence was far too lenient.
Ms Magee said: ‘We were relieved to hear his plea, but when we were told how long he’d be likely to spend in prison, it didn’t feel like justice.
‘The judge described the murder as being ‘both brutal and sustained.’
‘If this was the case, then the sentence of 14 years seems nowhere near enough. He stole my brother’s life at just 22.
‘Koca will still be a relatively young man when he gets out. He’ll have time for relationships, a career, kids even.
‘Eamonn will never have those chances and we’ll never be able to plan a future with him in our lives. All we have is memories.
‘Still, I talk about him to my boys every day and I’ll make sure no one ever forgets Uncle Eamonn – the best friend I will ever have.’
Aine said: ‘Still, I talk about him to my boys every day and I’ll make sure no one ever forgets Uncle Eamonn – the best friend I will ever have’