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Ripley murder trial: Life imprisonment for man who murdered love rival in act of vengeance

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A man has today been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his estranged wife's lover.

Oktay Kilic, 40, from Harrogate, used a kitchen knife to cause horrific fatal injuries to Mark Leslie John Berney, aged 44, from Knaresborough.

The incident occurred on the B6165 at Whipley Bank in Ripley at around 9.30pm on Sunday 3 August 2014.

Kilic, a taxi driver and originally from Turkey, confronted and attacked Mr Berney after tracking down his wife’s car 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 Monday 4 August.

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.

A subsequent investigation by North Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit secured evidence to prove Kilic carried out a pre-meditated attack intended to inflict horrendous injuries in an act of vengeance.

Kilic was sentenced to life imprisonment 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.

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.”

The family of Mark Berney have issued the following statement after the case concluded at court:

“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 Oktay 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.”

27 January 2015

Online dangers highlighted by murder inquiry

The Oktay Kilic murder case has highlighted the growing use of online and mobile technology in domestic abuse, harassment and serious crimes.

Smart phones and social networking sites have increasingly become a fundamental part of everyday life for many people.

However, with the advance of this technology, there is the potential that victims of domestic abuse can find themselves at increasing risks of stalking and harassment as offenders seek to monitor their every movement, including new partners and new addresses.

For relatively small amounts of money, software packages can be purchased in order to covertly track another person. Indeed, some devices have such capabilities built-in as standard.

To help keep safe, people are advised to take the following steps:
Do not choose obvious passwords that can be easily guessed by others, ie. children’s names, dates of birth, favourite things
Create different passwords for different accounts
Remember social networks are not secure – ensure you have the highest privacy and security settings
Seek advice from your mobile phone provider and understand how to remove any spyware material from your phone

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or believe you are being harassed or stalked, please do not hesitate to seek help and support from North Yorkshire Police by calling101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room.

Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on0800 555 111.

If you feel threatened or require emergency assistance, always dial 999.

Last modified: May 9, 2018