'I can't believe I could be so evil': Murder accused wrote to children after their mum was stabbed to death in Hartlepool street

Kelly Franklin
Kelly Franklin

A man accused of murder sent a letter from his cell where he is on remand begging his children for forgiveness for killing their mum.

Torbjorn Kettlewell is accused of murdering the mum of his three children Kelly Franklin in a street attack in Hartlepool.

Torbjorn Kettlewell.

Torbjorn Kettlewell.

Kettlewell stabbed Ms Franklin, 29, more than 30 times after confronting in Oxford Road in Hartlepool last summer.

The couple had recently split up, and Kettlewell was annoyed that Ms Franklin did not want to speak to him or give him details of the care of their three children.

In a letter to his three children sent from his remand cell last October, Kettlewell wrote: "I took all our lives away that day.

"I can't believe I could be so evil as to do it.

Flowers left at the scene following the death of Kelly Franklin.

Flowers left at the scene following the death of Kelly Franklin.

"I don't have words to beg for forgiveness of you three.

"I dream of her every day, your mother Kelly, the love of my life.

"I can't live without her or you three, my family, the meaning of life for me."

It came as Kettlewell's defence case started at Teesside Crown Court.

Police investigating the murder of Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin.

Police investigating the murder of Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin.

Torbjorn Kettlewell intends to use the defence of diminished responsibility which would make him guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter, a jury was told.

The court heard Kettlewell had previously sought help for his 'excessive sex drive'.

Hospital records of Torbjorn Kettlewell read to a jury showed he had consulted doctors about his urge to have sex 'all the time' and had been prescribed medication for it.

Kettlewell is jointly charged with a former mistress, and after the stabbing he was found in the home of another woman with whom he was in a relationship.

A series of facts agreed by the prosecution and defence was read to Teesside Crown Court.

Kettlewell has no previous convictions, but he does have a caution for assault.

He has sought treatment for mental health and other medical problems in the past.

He was capable of being 'charming' with doctors, but he made a number of inappropriate remarks leading to a ruling that he should not be seen by female staff on their own.

Domestic abuse has featured in his relationship with Ms Franklin, but not for several years.

She told doctors in the weeks before her death she did not feel at risk of harm from Kettlewell, but was concerned about his mental health.

Kettlewell had threatened to harm himself which made her feel sorry for him.

Kettlewell, 30, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, denies murder on August 3.

Julie Wass, 48, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, denies murder.

She admits assisting an offender.

The court is expected to hear details of the defence case for Wass on Thursday.

The case continues.