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Father convicted of 1999 'honour' killing of his daughter

17/12/2009

Following an eleven week trial, Mehmet Goren was convicted today at the Central Criminal Court of murdering his 15 year old daughter, schoolgirl Tulay Goren on 7 January 1999.

Damaris Lakin, the reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said:

"Mehmet Goren, who was supposed to protect Tulay, betrayed and murdered her for nothing more than having a relationship that he did not approve of. He killed his own daughter because he believed that she had shamed him, but his conviction today shows that the true shame was, and always will be, his to bear."

Mehmet Goren now faces a sentence of life imprisonment.

Mehmet Goren and Tulay's uncles Cuma and Ali Goren were arrested on 25 November 2008. All three were charged with the murder of Tulay Goren, but Cuma and Ali Goren were today acquitted of that murder.

The three defendants were also acquitted of conspiracy to murder Halil Unal on 20 January 1999. It was Mr Unal's relationship with Tulay that the prosecution said they considered shameful.

Mrs Lakin continued:

"So-called honour crimes are often carried out under a cloak of secrecy, but this conviction clearly shows that, working closely with the police, we can expose and punish such crimes. A body can disappear and time can pass, but we can and will bring to justice those responsible.

"I would like to commend Hanim Goren, Tulay's mother, Halil Unal and the other witnesses. The courage and conviction that it took for them to speak out should not be underestimated. It is because of them that justice has at last been done for Tulay."  

Tulay Goren has not been seen alive since 7 January 1999. Neither her body nor a murder weapon has been found, but the jury agreed with the prosecution argument that the only logical conclusion that could be drawn from the known facts was that Tulay had been killed.

The CPS supported its case with detailed accounts from Tulay Goren's family members concerning the events of 7 January 1999; a letter written under duress by Tulay Goren; expert evidence on the nature of honour violence; and bad character evidence in relation to Mehmet Goren's conviction for grievous bodily harm for the attack on Mr Unal on 20 January 1999, an earlier attack on Mr Unal in December 1998 and his assaults on Tulay Goren in the family home.

Ends

1. For further information please contact the CPS Press Office, on 020 7796 8127 or cps.pressoffice@cps.gsi.gov.uk. Out of hours pager: 07699 781926

2. Tulay Goren has not been seen alive since 7 January 1999. She has been missing long enough to be declared legally dead and the Metropolitan Police carried out exhaustive checks for proof of life before the defendants were charged.

3. Neither the police nor CPS has any information on how Tulay Goren was killed or where her body is located.

4.Mehmet Goren was convicted of grievous bodily harm for the attack on Halil Unal on 20 January 1999 at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 8 August 2000. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, later reduced to five on appeal.

5. Professors Aytekin Sir and Yakin Erturk provided the expert evidence on honour violence. This is the first time that experts on this topic have come to the UK to support a prosecution case.

6. A file of evidence was first received from the police in 2000. The CPS did not authorise charges on the advice of Treasury Counsel, who concluded there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

7.The decision to charge in November 2008 followed a review of a second file of evidence in June 2008. New evidence, a review of the existing evidence in the light of an improved understanding of honour violence and changes in the law of hearsay and bad character evidence enabled the CPS to authorise charges against the defendants.

8. The CPS will be launching its new guidance for prosecutors on dealing with honour based violence and forced marriage cases early in 2010.

9. The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court

10. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 14 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Organised Crime, Special Crime, Counter-Terrorism and the Fraud Prosecution Division. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,250 people and prosecuted 1,032,598 cases with an overall conviction rate of 86.6% in 2008-2009. Further information can be found on our website.

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