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Cheating father, 30, murdered ex-girlfriend and driven away from scene by new lover

Torbjorn Kettlewell, 30, allegedly stabbed his former partner Kelly Franklin in a Hartlepool street on August 3

A cheating father stabbed his former partner to death after plotting her murder with his new lover, who drove him away from the scene, a court heard.

Kelly Franklin was stabbed more than 30 times by Torbjorn Kettlewell in a street in Hartlepool his new lover and neighbour Julie Wass, 48, drove him away from the scene, jurors heard. 

Kettlewell, 30, who has three children with Ms Franklin, and Wass deny murder during their trial at Teesside Crown Court. 

The court heard Kettlewell was obsessed with trying to make his former lover and the older woman sleep together for a threesome.

Kettlewell, who changed his named from Ian because he was such a fan of the video game character Torbjorn from Overwatch, lost custody of his children after shooting one of them in the face with an air rifle.  

Kettlewell allegedly became obsessed and angry with his former partner and was determined to stop her moving on with her life.

On August 3 at around 9pm, Kettlewell took a knife from his home, hunted Ms Franklin down and stabbed her to death while terrified members of the public watched on.

He was driven the scene by Wass and then driven away to Trimdon, County Durham, where he could destroy his phone. 

A witness said Wass was revving the engine before she drove off, while another heard Kettlewell shout ‘get me out of here’.

Torbjorn Kettlewell had three children with his former partner Kelly Franklin

Towards the end of Ms Franklin's relationship with Kettlewell, social services were concerned by his 'coercive and psychologically abusive behaviour towards Kelly'

Torbjorn Kettlewell (left) had three children with his former partner Kelly Franklin (right)

Jamie Hill QC, prosecuting, said Wass was Kettlewell’s ‘close friend and sometime lover’.

Following the stabbing, Wass went back to the murder scene and tearfully told officers she witnessed the crime. 

She also warned police that Kettlewell could harm a social worker and was filmed on a body-worn police camera saying: ‘He has always sworn down if he ever killed Kelly he would go for the social worker.’

However Wass, a mother-of-four, failed to mention to police she had been with Kettlewell for most of the day and drove him to his hiding place, Mr Hill said.

Kettlewell had been with Ms Franklin since they were teenagers but their were growing concerns about his behaviour towards her and their children, the court heard.

Social services got involved, Mr Hill said, and there were ‘particular concerns about Mr Kettlewell’s coercive and psychologically abusive behaviour towards Kelly’. 

The scene in the Hartlepool street where Ms Franklin was brutally stabbed to death last year

The scene in the Hartlepool street where Ms Franklin was brutally stabbed to death last year

The court heard that Mr Kettlewell tracked down his former partner before stabbing her and then being driven away from the scene by his new lover and neighbour Julie Wass

The court heard that Mr Kettlewell tracked down his former partner before stabbing her and then being driven away from the scene by his new lover and neighbour Julie Wass

Mr Hill said: ‘He spent his life surrounded by expensive computer equipment, drinking, gaming, and perhaps more concerningly trying to draw Kelly into his sexual fantasies involving other women.’ 

His ex-partner waited on him ‘hand and foot’ and was so enthralled by him that their children were often not cared for properly, the court heard.

Kettlewell changed his name from Ian to Torbjorn after becoming obsessed with the character in the Overwatch game

Kettlewell changed his name from Ian to Torbjorn after becoming obsessed with the character in the Overwatch game

They were taken into care when he accidentally shot one of them and Ms Franklin tried to cover for him, Mr Hill said.

The couple split in 2017 and she was helped by a domestic abuse charity and took parenting classes to win them back.

Following their break-up, Kettlewell sent her a raft of abusive Facebook messages and became obsessed that she may have a new partner- even though he was having other sexual relationships himself with other women.

Wass was said to have spent long periods at Kettlewell’s flat, would drive him around and shop for him.

Mr Hill added: ‘It is also apparent that Julie Wass immersed herself in the relationship with Mr Kettlewell and Kelly Franklin, not just by sleeping with him, she seems to have been completely in his thrall.’

The trial continues. 

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