Ex-partner's lover played 'significant role' in assisting murderous attack on Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin, say lawyers

Lawyers who today saw a pair of ex-lovers convicted of the brutal killing of Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin say Julie Wass played a 'significant role' in her death.

Wass admitted she had an affair with Torbjorn Kettlewell in 2017, and had remained friends with him since.

Julie Wass was found not guilty of murdering Kelly Franklin, but convicted of manslaughter after a two-week trial at Teesside Crown Court. Her ex-lover Torbjorn Kettlewell was convicted of murder.

Julie Wass was found not guilty of murdering Kelly Franklin, but convicted of manslaughter after a two-week trial at Teesside Crown Court. Her ex-lover Torbjorn Kettlewell was convicted of murder.

They were both charged with the murder of mum of three Ms Franklin, 29, who died after being stabbed repeatedly in Oxford Road, Hartlepool, in August last year.

Today, Kettlewell, 30, of Oval Grange, was convicted of Kelly's murder at Teesside Crown Court, and Wass, 48, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Related: Torbjorn Kettlewell found guilty of murder of Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin

During the attack, Kettlewell delivered over 30 stab wounds to Kelly, the mother of his three children, in full view of several witnesses.

She died at the scene after suffering such catastrophic injuries that passers-by were unable to save her.

Wass was also accused of murder for her involvement in helping Kettlewell plan and carry out the attack, but was found not guilty of that charge at the conclusion of the trial.

Related: This is the moment Torbjorn Kettlewell's ex-lover named him as Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin's killer


David Maddison, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service North East, said: “As a partner, Torbjorn Kettlewell had shown coercive, bullying behaviour towards both Kelly and his children, and provided little in the way of financial support.

“After they were separated, Kelly tried to move on with her life and provide a stable home environment for her children, but Kettlewell could not accept this.

"He bombarded her with texts and Facebook messages, constantly questioning her and accusing her of meeting someone else.”

“The Crown’s case is that, when Kettlewell realised that Kelly was breaking free from his control, he plotted to kill her.

Related: Murdered mum Kelly Franklin was 'manipulated and controlled' by killer Torbjorn Kettlewell


“Using phone records and CCTV evidence, the Crown Prosecution Service has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that Torbjorn Kettlewell was responsible for the murder of Kelly Franklin.

"While Julie Wass was cleared of murder, it is also clear that she played a significant role in assisting Kettlewell in his attack on Kelly.

“I sincerely hope that the convictions secured today provide a measure of comfort for Kelly’s family, at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them."

Kettlewell, who had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of having a bladed article, and Wass, who had admitted assisting an offender, will be sentenced tomorrow.

Related: Murdered Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin's family brand her killer Torbjorn Kettlewell an 'evil, vicious monster'