'He's stabbing her to death, someone help': Woman screamed for help as mum of three was killed in Hartlepool street

Witnesses tried desperately to help Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin after she was stabbed 30 times and tragically died in the street.

Monday, 21st January 2019, 2:27 pm
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 4:00 pm
Emergency services at the scene.

Shocked witnesses told a court how they saw a man alleged to be Ms Frankin's former partner Torbjorn Kettlewell, 30, who is on trial for murder, repeatedly punch and stab Ms Franklin, 29, in Oxford Road, Hartlepool, on Friday, August 3, last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard from Nicola Coulson, 40, who saw the shocking incident as she was driving home with family from the Travellers Rest.

Kelly Franklin.

She told police she saw a man punching a small woman she initially thought was a child at the top of Oxford Road.

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Ms Coulson dropped her family off and went back to the scene. She said a red car was in the road near the couple.

The car is alleged to have been driven by Julie Wass, 48, who is jointly charged with murder.

In her account to the police which was played to the jury on Monday, Ms Coulson said: "He was repeatedly attacking her and I said 'are you ok' to the girl (Franklin).

Police launched a murder probe following hte death of Kelly Franklin.

"He (Kettlewell) shouted back 'she's fine'. Then I looked at her and she shouted 'no I'm not'.

"He had some sort of knife in his hand and he went at her and started stabbing her repeatedly in the chest.

"I was just screaming and shouting 'he's stabbing her to death, someone help'."

Ms Coulson said she shouted from her car to the red car for someone to help.

Torbjorn Kettlewell.

But she said Wass did not react adding: "She seemed calm and emotionless. It was as though she looked right through me."

She said it seemed the woman in the car knew the man who attacked Ms Franklin.

Ms Coulson said he left the scene by jogging over the road and down Swalebrooke Avenue where she also saw the red car go.

Ms Coulson rang 999 and left her car to try to help Ms Franklin.

Flowers left at the scene.

She described how she checked for a pulse and placed a hoodie given by a boy at the scene over Ms Franklin's chest to try to stop the bleeding.

Under cross examination from John Elvidge QC, defending Wass, Mrs Coulson agreed she did not hear her shout any words of encouragement to the man.

Mr Elvidge suggested that the woman in the car asked the man to get in and when Mrs Coulson shouted at her to help Kelly Wass said "I can't."

Mrs Coulson insisted Wass did not say anything at all.

Another witness, Anthony Williams, said he saw Kettlewell and Ms Frankin arguing at the same spot before Kettlewell lunged at her and put her in a headlock while hitting her continuously.

Mr Williams ran over from the bus stop in Oxford Road as he is a qualified first aider.

Police investigating the scene in Oxford Road, Hartlepool.

He said: "I put my hands on her chest to do CPR, but she was gone.

"I was absolutely gutted. I knew she had died. That's the worst part, I couldn't save her."

Under cross examination from John Elvidge QC, defending Wass, Mr Williams said he did not see the man with any weapon, and he did not see the man get into the red car at the scene.

Catherine Chambers, who was also waiting at the bus stop, told the jury: "He (Kettlewell) was punching her like a punch bag."

She said as the attack was happening the red car was sounding its horn.

Mr Elvidge suggested she was mistaken about the car horn but Ms Chambers said she was not.

Kettlewell, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, denies murder.

Wass, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, admits asssisting an offender, but denies murder.

The trial continues.

Police closed the area while the investigated the murder of Kelly Franklin from Hartlepool.