The case of the unfortunate death of British-Nigerian model Harry Uzoka, 25, who was killed in January after being stabbedthrough the heart during a misunderstanding with a fellow model over a girl, is being heard a jury.
Following his death, two persons, George Koh and Jonathan Okigbo were arrested and charged to court for murder.
In court on Monday, Koh said that he acted in self defence as more information into the circumstances that led to Uzoka’s death was disclosed.
A model who worked for top brands including Zara and Mercedes was stabbed
Harry Uzoka who died was a model who worked for top fashion brands. On that unfaithful day after a two-minute confrontation with George Koh, 24, collapsing on the pavement outside his home in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.
The Old Bailey heard that the two men clashed in January, with Uzoka and a friend armed with dumbbell bars. Koh was armed with a knife in each hand, and supported by two friends, armed with a machete and another knife.
“By the end, Harry Uzoka had been fatally stabbed in the heart and although he got away, he collapsed and died outside his home.”
The jury heard that Koh was a less-successful model than Uzoka, who had become annoyed about claims Koh allegedly made that he had slept with his girlfriend.
Horwell told the court: “George Koh was also a model, not as successful as Uzoka, and it seems that Uzoka was annoyed by Koh because the less-successful Koh attempted to copy Uzoka and, indeed, some said that they looked alike.
“Uzoka was also annoyed because Koh made contact with some of Uzoka’s friends. Such conduct can at times be irritating but the effect on Uzoka was no more than that and there is no suggestion that the two were in any sense at war with each other or anything like that.
“But something changed, something caused that relationship to change and it was a woman.”
Horwell told the jury that both men knew Annecetta Lafon, a French model, through Instagram, though she had met neither in real life.
In December 2017, she visited London and stayed at Koh’s home in Camden. Horwell said Lafon was “surprised to discover that Koh had something of an obsession with Uzoka”.
The prosecutor continued: “Koh claimed that he knew Uzoka well and then said that he had had sex with Uzoka’s girlfriend and that that was the reason the two men no longer talked. Koh then added that Uzoka was a bad man and a liar. And so, it seemed that admiration for another model had turned to contempt.”
By 8 January, Lafon met Uzoka for the first time and stayed two nights at his Shepherd’s Bush home. Horwell said Lafon told Uzoka about Koh’s claims to have slept with his girlfriend, a model called Ruby Campbell.
Uzoka was stunned, the court heard. “Uzoka showed Lafon some Instagram messages in which he had implored Koh to stop copying him and to stop talking to his friends,” Horwell told the jury. “Uzoka described Koh as a fake and said that he wanted to have it out with Koh, face to face.”
By 11 January, the row continued and barely 100 minutes before the attack, Koh sent Uzoka an Instagram message which read: “Where you? I’ll come there. We can fight. Bring your friends with you.” Minutes later Uzoka replied, telling Koh he was in Shepherd’s Bush, where he lived.
Koh went with two friends, Jonathan Okigbo and Merse Dikanda, who had a machete. All three defendants are aged 24 and deny murder.
Horwell said Uzoka had gone with a friend, Adrian Harper, and the two were soon overwhelmed and both fled.
Horwell described the dumbbells as “bars” as he addressed the jury.
Uzoka was penned in around a parked car and saw “the formidable and threatening sight of Dikanda and his terrifying knife”, the jury heard.
Horwell said: “Eventually, Uzoka was separated from the bar that he had and, unarmed, he made a desperate run for freedom and he got away, although he was chased by Okigbo … Uzoka escaped but his life was ebbing away from him. Whilst by the car he had been stabbed in the heart and when he reached the outside of his nearby home, he collapsed.”
Koh and the two other defendants took a cab to and from the scene of the fight, the court heard. Three days later, he contacted police and told detectives: “During the altercation with Harry, he knocked me to the ground. He had a metal pole in his hand and went to strike me.
“I acted in self-defence because I feared that he would kill me or cause me serious injury. I had no intention to stab him in the chest. I was on the floor when he fell on to me. I maintain that my actions were reasonable given the circumstances.”
The trial continues.