'I couldn't believe what I was seeing': Witnesses tell of their horror after seeing Hartlepool mum stabbed to death

A woman told a jury she couldn't believe her eyes as she saw a mother-of-three being stabbed more than 30 times in a Hartlepool street.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 18 January, 2019, 15:54
Police at the scene of Kelly Franklin's death.

Pamela Redman witnessed Torbjorn Kettlewell stab Kelly Franklin before getting into a car alleged to be driven from the scene by Julie Wass.

Kettlewell and Wass are jointly charged with Ms Franklin's murder in Hartlepool last August.

"I was walking my dog towards Oxford Road," Ms Redman told Teesside Crown Court.

"There was a man and a woman ahead, I thought they were carrying on.

"As I got closer I could see he was hitting her, there were others there, they were not reacting.

"I walked closer, she was on the ground, and I could see he was stabbing her.

Torbjorn Kettlewell.

"I couldn't believe that was what I was seeing."

Ms Redman said a red car pulled up.

"I thought they would help," added Ms Redman. "The man got up, went to the car, got in, and said 'get me out of here' or words to that effect.

"I tried to get the registration number.

Police investigating at the scene of Kelly Franklin's death.

"Then I shouted to two men to ring an ambulance.

"I held the girl's hand and told her somebody was coming.

"A young lad threw a coat over her, and we held it to stop the bleeding, but I just felt she was dead."

Prosecutors claim the red car was driven by Wass, who had given Kettlewell a lift to the scene before driving him away afterwards.

Flowers left at the scene in Chaucer Avenue, Hartlepool.

Gavin Wallace said he was sitting outside his house when he saw a couple 'grappling'.

"It looked like he was punching her," added Mr Wallace. "She was screaming.

"I didn't see how the row had started or how long it had been going on for.

"I saw a red car pull up which was there for a few minutes."

Under cross-examination from John Elvidge QC, for Wass, Mr Wallace said he had not seen a knife, but the incident was some distance from him and his eyesight is poor.

Sarah Dunnett said she was standing on the corner of Oxford Road and Swalebrooke Avenue just before 9pm.

"I saw a red car stop," added Ms Dunnett.

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"The driver was a lady, bigger build, in her late forties.

"I got the impression she was looking for something, she was looking at a mobile phone and looked like she was lost.

"The car crept forward, she still had the phone in her hand.

"I thought I was going to be asked for directions."

Prosecutors claim Wass, who was driving a red car that night, spotted Ms Franklin in Oxford Road, and she rang Kettlewell to tell him where Ms Franklin was.

Alan Brown said he was walking home from the club with his brother-in-law when he saw the red car.

"I saw it speeding away," Mr Brown told the jury.

"My brother-in-law said he thought something had just happened, so he told me to get the registration number.

"I think I got a couple of letters."

A friend of Ms Franklin told the jury she had said goodbye to her minutes before the killing.

Tracey Morley said she had spent the evening socialising with Ms Franklin, 29, at her home before Ms Franklin walked her to her bus in Oxford Road, Hartlepool.

Within five minutes of the bus leaving just before 9pm, prosecutors say Ms Franklin was stabbed more than 30 times in the street by Kettlewell.

"The bus was a little bit early," said Ms Morley.

"As I got on, I told Kelly I would text her to say I'd got home safely.

"She never replied, and I tried her a few times over the weekend without success,

"I had this weird feeling something had happened to her."

Kettlewell is alleged to have sent threatening and abusive messages to Ms Franklin after the pair split months earlier and he moved to a flat a few miles away.

Ms Morley said Ms Franklin received two messages on the day she died.

"One message said she had been seen with men holding hands," Ms Morley told the jury.

"Another said Kelly had better run.

"I don't think she did anything about those messages, although she told me she had downloaded lots of threatening messages onto a SIM card which she had hidden.

"She said if anything happened to her, I should tell people about the SIM card."

Ms Morley said MS Franklin showed her the SIM card which was in a small compartment in her handbag.

The case continues.