Tragic Hartlepool mum Kelly Franklin's killers will spend years behind bars

A Hartlepool man who murdered the mother of his three children has been told he must serve at least 29 years in prison.

Torbjorn Kettlewell was handed a life sentence at Teesside Crown Court for the stabbing of Kelly Franklin, 29, in a street in Hartlepool.

Torbjorn Kettlewell and Julie Wass will be sentenced today for the killing of Hartlepool mum of three Kelly Franklin.

Torbjorn Kettlewell and Julie Wass will be sentenced today for the killing of Hartlepool mum of three Kelly Franklin.

Mr Justice Jacobs told Kettlewell, 30, of Oval Grange, Hartlepool, he must serve at least 29 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.

Kettlewell's accomplice and former lover Julie Wass was sentenced to eight years for the manslaughter of Ms Franklin.

Wass, 48, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool, helped Kettlewell find Ms Franklin on the night of the killing on August 3, last year, and drove him away from the scene afterwards.

Neither Kettlewell nor Wass showed any emotion as sentence was passed.

Kelly Franklin was stabbed more than 30 times by Kettlewell in front of horrified onlookers. Wass then drove him away from the scene.

Kelly Franklin was stabbed more than 30 times by Kettlewell in front of horrified onlookers. Wass then drove him away from the scene.

The pair were convicted of the brutal killing yesterday after a two-week trial.

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

Ms Franklin had finally broken free from her abusive partner after 12 miserable years when the "monster" stabbed her to death, her family said after the hearing.

The mother-of-three should have been supported by her friend and neighbour Wass, but was instead betrayed, their statement added.

Ms Franklin was stabbed more than 30 times in the street by Kettlewell in Oxford Road, Hartlepool, last August.

The trial heard that he was a narcissist, obsessed with knives and changed his name from Ian to Torbjorn in honour of a character from the video game Overwatch.

Related: Fantasist murderer Torbjorn Kettlewell has 'abnormality of mind' and even his own brother is disgusted by him

His victim's family said in a statement after the case: "She was a bubbly, chatty, friendly girl whom anybody would feel comfortable talking to.

"Devastatingly, her life was tragically cut short by that evil, vicious monster Ian Kettlewell on August 3rd 2018.

"Kettlewell plagued Kelly's life for 12 years in a controlling and abusive relationship, but she had finally escaped his grip and realised she didn't need someone like him in her life.

"She had started to move on from him and was much better off without him.

"She seemed more confident and determined to rebuild her life after he had worn her down. She was back to being herself again.

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

"Julie Wass was supposed to be a friend and neighbour.

"She was a 48-year-old care worker who was a mother and grandmother herself, she should have known better.

"She should hang her head in shame for the role she has played in this. Her actions have been downright disgusting, and totally heartless.

"We hope this hangs on their conscience everyday of their miserable lives and they are punished accordingly for their ultimate betrayal."

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

Outside court, temporary Detective Superintendent Wendy Tinkler said: "Kelly had her young life tragically stolen from her by Kettlewell and Wass and her family have been left absolutely heartbroken.

"She was the mother of three young children, she had many dreams and ambitions about what she wanted to achieve for herself and her young family.

"Nothing will ever bring Kelly back and her family will continue to struggle to recover from this tragic event, however, I hope they feel reassured that justice has been served."