Court hears that Alexander McQueen model was tragically ‘murdered by obsessed rival'
A court has heard how a male model phoned a designer to confirm that he would not be attending a photo shoot due to the fact that he had stabbed another model to death.
George Koh is alleged to have called to say that he could not attend the shoot and swiftly began to cover his tracks through deleting his account with a taxi firm and trying to change his mobile phone number. He is also alleged to have moved more than £4,000 ($5,300) from his savings into his current account and withdrew £400 ($530) before he was eventually arrested by police.
Koh, Jonathan Okigbo and Merse Dikanda are all accused of murdering 25-year-old model Harry Uzoka on January 11 2018.
Uzoka was a highly promising young model, with the Londoner having previously appeared in campaigns for the likes of Alexander McQueen and GQ. He died on the pavement outside of his home in London after a stab wound to the heart.
While the trio had thrown away their phones, murder squad detectives did uncover Dikanda's knife while searching his bedroom.
It's believed that the incident occurred after Uzoka had called Koh a "fake" on Instagram and the duo arranged to have a fight after Koh claimed to have had sex with Uzoka's girlfriend, Ruby Campbell.
Annecetta Lafon, a fellow model from Paris, had been in touch with both men before she arrived in London in December last year.
Prosecutor Richard Horwell QC said: “Lafon was surprised to discover that Koh had something of an obsession with Uzoka.
“Koh knew that he was wanted for the murder of Mr Ozuka and he surrendered himself on the 14 January.
“Okigbo was arrested on the 15 January and Dikanda was arrested on the 25 and was found in possession of that knife.
“The day after Mr Uzoka’s death, Koh had a booking to work as a fashion model in Croydon, but on the night of the attack Koh telephoned the designer who had booked him and announced that he may not be able to attend the shoot.”
Koh had told the designer that he had been in a fight and had stabbed somebody.
“Koh also contacted his mobile phone service provider and asked to change his number and Koh was also aware of another vulnerability,” Horwell said.
“An Addison Lee taxi which had taken him and his two co-defendants to and from the murder scene had been booked in his name, Koh had an account with Addison Lee and had booked those taxis in his name, through that account.
“He sought to delete his Addison Lee account but he was not successful.
“On the afternoon of the 12th January Koh made other preparations in efforts to lie low.
“He went to his bank and transferred £4,320 from his savings account to his current account which was just overdrawn by a very small sum.
“He also withdrew £400 in cash.”
The Old Bailey heard how the car next to where Uzoka was stabbed had four blood patches, which were traced back to the successful model. In a statement to police, Koh admitted being involved in the fight, saying: “I George Koh would like to say the following in relation to my arrest.
“I did not wilfully take the life of Harry Uzoka. I was in fear for my life, Mr Uzoka was upset with me and had made threats of violence towards me.
“The night before the incident a group of black males attended my home address to intimidate me that made me feel very afraid.
“During the altercation, he had a metal pole in his hand and wanted to strike me, I acted in self-defence because I feared that he would kill me.
“I had no intention to stab him in the chest, I was on the floor when he fell onto me.
“I maintain that my actions were reasonable given the circumstances.”
Following his death, tributes were paid to Uzoka, with clothing retailer Everlane tweeting: “We’re deeply saddened to hear about Harry Uzoka’s passing."
“He was a wonderful model but even more so a good person and a pleasure to work with.
“There’s so much more behind the person you’ve seen in our campaigns.
“Thank you, Harry, for being such a great person. Rest in peace.”
The trial continues.