Kelly Franklin murder: Police accused woman of ‘hunting’ for lover’s former partner before he stabbed her to death

Kelly Franklin.
Kelly Franklin.

A woman accused of helping her lover to murder a mum of three refused to answer most questions put to her by police.

Interviews between Julie Wass and police investigating the murder of Kelly Franklin were read out during a trial at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

Emergency services on the scene at Oxford Road in Hartlepool.

Emergency services on the scene at Oxford Road in Hartlepool.

The trial has previously heard evidence that Wass, 48, drove Torbjorn Kettlewell to and from Oxford Road, Hartlepool, on August 3, last year, where Ms Franklin was allegedly stabbed more than 30 times by her former partner Kettlewell.

Wass, who admits assisting an offender but denies murder, told police she was parked nearby when she saw Kettlewell stab Ms Franklin, 29, before he got into her car.

Wass lived next door to Ms Franklin and the court has heard she was in a relationship with Kettlewell, 30.

When Wass was interviewed for the final time by police on October 2 last year she refused to answer most questions including about her relationship with Kettlewell and any recent contact between her and Ms Franklin.

Torbjorn Kettlewell

Torbjorn Kettlewell

The prosecution allege Wass spotted Ms Franklin at the bus stop on Oxford Road on the night of her death then rang Kettlewell to tell him where Ms Franklin was, knowing he intended to harm her.

Detective Constable Stephen Thacker put it to Wass in the interview on October 2: “To me the evidence suggests you were out hunting Kelly with Torbjorn and you found her.”

Wass replied: “No comment”.

Det Con Thacker added: “I can only think you found her and contacted Torbjorn to say where she is and he has carried out the murder, which is horrific.

Hartlepool murder scene flowers, Oxford Road/Chaucer Avenue.

Hartlepool murder scene flowers, Oxford Road/Chaucer Avenue.

“There’s no way in the world she could have survived. After he had done it you have driven him away.”

Wass, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, said: “Because I was scared.”

When Det Con Thacker talked about the brutality of the killing Wass said: “I know, I see it [in my mind] every day.”

DC Thacker added: “Three young children are going to grow up without a mother.

“Can you imagine what it must be like for the children? Is there anything you want to say at all?”

Wass replied: “No comment.”

Earlier in the interview she denied sending threatening texts or any other such messages to Ms Franklin on her mobile phone.

When she was charged with murder the same day she said: “Not guilty.”

The prosecution say Kettlewell blamed Ms Franklin, and a social worker, for their three children being taken into care after he had injured one of the children when he was cleaning an air rifle.

Kettlewell, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, also denies murder.

The trial will resume next week.