Turkish man who murdered toddler Alistair Grimason is shot dead at own wedding

Russell Hope, News Reporter

A Turkish man who shot dead a British toddler in Turkey 14 years ago has been shot and killed at his own wedding.

Two-year-old Alistair Grimason was asleep in his pram at a cafe in Foca in 2003 when he was hit by a bullet fired by Daimi Akyuz.

The following year, Akyuz, now 46, was sentenced to life for killing Alistair and another man after a gunfight broke out.

He was released early and on Saturday, just six days after his release, he was gunned down at his own wedding in Izmir, according to reports in Turkish media.

Turkish police are interviewing five suspects over the shooting.

The toddler's father, David Grimason, from East Kilbride, said the news did not give him any satisfaction: "I don't take any joy in what has happened.

"I would rather that he was in prison and being punished for what he did.

"I was told that he was at his wedding and stepped outside for a cigarette and someone came along and shot him."

Mr Grimason has since split up from Alistair's Turkish-born mother Ozlem, who has moved back to Izmir.

He added: "Ozlem has moved back to Turkey recently, so there was an opportunity they could have bumped in to each other.

"It is a horrible thought. No-one informed us that he was being let out.

"We were told at the time he would serve his full sentence. They were making an example of him.

"It was a tough time for us. But it's worse for his family at the moment, I remember he had two kids."

On the evening of 7 July 2003, Alistair and his mother and grandmother had been at a cafe in Foca, about an hour from Izmir.

Car salesman and taxi driver Akyuz, who was at a nearby table, pulled a gun on three other men, killing Ali Bektas, a mobile phone salesman, and injuring two other men.

Alistair was caught in the crossfire and died instantly when a stray bullet pierced his lung.

Akyuz was found guilty of murder and ordered to serve a maximum of 36 years.

He admitted causing Alistair's death but denied murder. However a judge found him guilty of deliberately killing the toddler.

Akyuz, who insisted that the gun had gone off after others grabbed his hand, failed in a court appeal against his sentence.

Alistair's father went on to campaign for tighter gun controls, even visiting the United Nations in New York to help secure an international arms trade treaty.

Akyuz's early release is reported to have been the result of mass arrests following Turkey's failed coup last year, which has left prisons "overflowing", according to sources in the country.

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