Kelly Franklin murder case: Nurse says trip to woods alleged to have been hiding place research was to go foraging

Murder accused Julie Wass claimed a trip to woods which prosecutors allege was to research a hiding place for Torbjorn Kettlewell was made because he wanted to go foraging.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Friday, 1st February 2019, 11:43 am
Torbjorn Kettlewell accused of murder of Kelly Franklin the mum of his three children.

Hours before Kettlewell stabbed Kelly Franklin, Wass took him in her car to woods at Trimdon.

Immediately after the stabbing she took him to the same woods, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Police at the scene of Kelly Franklin's murder in Hartlepool.

Wass said she spent some of the day of the stabbing with Kettlewell in his flat in Oval Grange, Hartlepool.

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"He had been looking at Google Maps on the computer," she said. "I knew he was interested in woods and foraging.

"He said he had found two likely locations, so we decided to go to Trimdon.

"When we arrived, he got out of the car and went into the woods for five or 10 minutes.

Kelly Franklin.

"He had a backpack, but I don't know what was in it.

"I stayed in the car all the time."

Wass said she later drove Kettlewell away from the scene of the stabbing to the same woods because he had told her to and she was scared of him.

Under cross-examination from Jamie Hill QC, prosecuting, Wass denied the woods at Trimdon were a pre-arranged drop off point.

She returned to the scene of the stabbing, telling officers manning a cordon it was Kettlewell who had stabbed Ms Franklin.

Wass said she didn't tell police she had driven him from the scene because she was scared of getting into trouble for doing so.

The jury heard Wass has lived in Hartlepool all her life, and has worked as a nurse for the last 23 years.

She has four children, three of whom are now in their twenties.

Wass said she met Kettlewell when he and Ms Franklin moved in next door about five years ago.

She conceded having a two month affair with Kettlewell in 2017, but overall her marriage to husband Lee was a happy one.

"He shot me out of the house once and tried to dunk my head in the sink," said Ms Wass.

"That was when I hit him with a bag of sweets."

Wass said she continued to be friends with Kettlewell after the affair ended, but the friendship had ended since the stabbing.

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

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

She admits assisting an offender.

The case continues.