Torbjorn Kettlewell found guilty of murder of Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin

A man who stabbed his former partner more than 30 times is facing years in prison after being convicted of her murder.

Torbjorn Kettlewell killed Kelly Franklin in a vicious street attack in Hartlepool.

Kelly Franklin

Kelly Franklin

His accomplice, Julie Wass, was also charged with murder.

She was convicted of the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The jury took five hours to reach its verdicts after a trial at Teesside Crown Court lasting two weeks.

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Police investigating the scene of Kelly Franklin's murder

Police investigating the scene of Kelly Franklin's murder

Kettlewell and Ms Franklin, 29, were partners and lived together in Kipling Street in Hartlepool.

Wass, who had an affair with Kettlewell in 2017, lived next door.

The couple had three children which were taken into care after Kettlewell injured one with an air rifle.

Prosecutors say this led to the couple splitting, as Ms Franklin tried to regain her independence from Kettlewell, who was described as 'manipulative and controlling'.

Torbjorn Kettlewell found guilty of murder of Kelly Franklin in Hartlepool.

Torbjorn Kettlewell found guilty of murder of Kelly Franklin in Hartlepool.

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

Wass was in the background of the relationship, taking a keen interest in the family proceedings over the couple's children.

On the day of the murder, Wass spent some time with Kettlewell at his flat in Oval Grange, Hartlepool.

The pair of them made a trip in her car to woods at Trimdon, where they stayed for five minutes.

Julie Wass found guilty of the manslaughter of Kelly Franklin in Hartlepool.

Julie Wass found guilty of the manslaughter of Kelly Franklin in Hartlepool.

Wass claimed it was because Kettlewell wanted to go foraging, but prosecutors said it was to find a hiding place for Kettlewell to use later.

Wass left Kettlewell at his home, returning later in the evening to collect him to go looking for Ms Franklin.

They found her near a bus stop in Oxford Road.

Kettlwell launched his attack while Wass remained in the car.

Leaving Ms Franklin bleeding to death in the street, Kettlewell got into Wass's car and the pair went back to the woods at Trimdon.

In a bizarre twist, Wass returned to the scene of the stabbing, telling police in the cordon who the victim was and who the perpetrator was, but neglecting to mention her own involvement.

No murder weapon was ever found, but a knife missing from a set in Kettlewell's kitchen was said to be of approximately the right size to inflict the wounds.

Kettlewell was found the next day hiding in the house of another girlfriend.

The jury was not told Kettlewell originally pleaded guilty to murder, but changed his plea to not guilty on the morning Wass's trial was due to start.

Kettlewell offered a plea of guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Two psychiatric doctors said Kettlewell does suffer from an abnormality of mind, but it is not sufficiently serious for him to qualify for the legal definition of diminished responsibility.

Jurors were told Wass would be guilty of murder as a 'secondary party' if they accepted she knew Kettlewell intended serious harm to Ms Franklin.

Wass would be guilty of manslaughter if the jury thought Wass knew Kettlewell intended to harm Ms Franklin.

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

Wass, 48, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, was convicted of manslaughter on the same date.

She previously admitted assisting an offender.

Mr Justice Jacobs thanked the jury for its careful consideration of the case.

The judge said he will sentence both defendants on Wednesday morning.