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Male model is found guilty of stabbing high-flying rival to death

George Koh, along with Merse Dikanda and Jonathan Okigbo, killed Harry Uzoka in fight that had been arranged online

13 August, 2018 — By William McLennan

Harry Uzoka had worked for the likes of Levi’s and Mercedes 

A MALE model has been convicted of murdering a more successful rival in a dispute that began on social media.

George Koh, 24, was found guilty of fatally stabbing Harry Uzoka in a fight that the pair had arranged online.

The jury had been told that Mr Koh was obsessed with Mr Uzoka and had become jealous of his high-flying career.

Mr Uzoka’s family today said his death was “yet again another senseless killing” that had robbed young black men of an inspirational role model.

Mr Koh, from York Way, recruited two of his childhood friends and travelled to meet Mr Uzoka near his home in west London, armed with knives.

Mr Uzoka, 25, and his housemate turned up carrying dumb-bell bars. His housemate escaped, but Koh delivered a fatal blow to Mr Uzoka’s chest, piercing his heart.

Left to right: Koh, Dikanda and Okigbo

The court heard that the dispute between the two models began on Instagram, with Mr Koh accused of attempting to copy Mr Uzoka’s look.

Messages sent between Mr Uzoka’s friends in the days before his death were read to the court. One said: “I preed [looked at] his Instagram. He wants to be H so bad. Look at him trying to look like H. It’s pathetic.”

The friend messaged Mr Koh and said: “Stop doing what you are doing, it’s going to get mad for you. I have got screen-shots of you talking shit about my boy.”

Mr Uzoka eventually confronted Mr Koh himself and told him to “stop following and unfollowing, liking and unliking my friends’ profiles” on Instagram.

Mr Koh said he was using a piece of software called “Instagress” that automatically carries out the function in an attempt to lure people into following his account.

The row escalated when Mr Uzoka was told that Mr Koh had boasted about sleeping with his girlfriend, the court heard.

The pair arranged to meet in a Shepherd’s Bush street on January 11.

Koh, who grew up with his family in York Way, before moving to Broadhurst Gardens, enlisted the support of Merse Dikanda and Jonathan Okigbo, both 24.

Koh had told the court that he only that he began carrying a knife days before the killing, because he was scared he would be attacked by Mr Uzoka or his friends.

Sean Larkin QC, defending Koh, said his client “cannot say precisely how he caused any injuries he did”. Mr Koh said that he had stabbed Mr Uzoka in the shoulder in self-defence as he swung at him with the bar. Mr Uzoka collapsed and died from a stab wound to the heart.

Mr Larkin said: “He did not intend to do any serious harm.”

The jury rejected Koh’s defence today and convicted him of murder. Dikanda was also found guilty of murder.

Okigbo, of Trevithic House, York Rise was found guilty of manslaughter for his part in the killing.

All three have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on September 21.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Simon Pickford, 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.

“Harry had worked so hard to establish his career in the modelling industry, and had so much more to live for. How sad it is that no one will ever know what else he might have achieved, and what a tragedy for his colleagues, who have been robbed of such a supportive and warm colleague. It was clear that Harry was a role model to many young black men and was an inspiration, but his life was taken in a senseless attack.

“The greatest tragedy of course is for Harry’s family, who have lost him in such a senseless way. I would like to thank them for their bravery and support during this process. There are no winners in this incident, but I hope this guilty verdict for Koh, Dikanda and Okigbo will give them some small comfort as they continue to come to terms with their loss.”

In a statement, Mr Uzoka’s family said: “Harry’s death has been a great shock to everyone that knew him and even those that did not.

“He left a positive and irreplaceable mark on so many. We still find it difficult to believe he is actually gone. It was yet again another senseless killing.

“Harry was a hard-working, committed and ambitious young man. He was a role model for all, especially young black boys, a high percentage of whom are raised in poverty and need positive influences to encourage them to stay on the right track in life.

“It is so important for young boys to see people like themselves from similar backgrounds doing well so that they can also have positive dreams and aspirations that they know are achievable. Harry was such a positive, loving and caring influence.”

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