England

Internet dating woman jailed for murder of man she met online

Carol Kemp
Image caption Kemp was told she must serve a minimum of 13 years

A woman who fatally stabbed a man she met on the internet will serve at least 13 years for his murder.

Carol Kemp stabbed Martin Rusling through his heart at his Dorset home when he expressed his wish to end their relationship last December.

Kemp, 45, from Torquay, denied murder, claiming she had brandished the knife to self-harm. She was convicted after a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

She was given a life sentence for the attack on Mr Rusling, 43, in Portland.

Mr Rusling, who worked as a laminator, had shown no violence towards her at his house in Park Road on 28 December, the court heard.

Passing sentence, Judge Linda Dobbs told Kemp: "There was a struggle and you pulled Mr Rusling's chain. There were scratches all over his face which suggest violence.

"Mr Rusling was stabbed right through both chambers of the heart."

'Callous act'

The judge accepted the attack was not premeditated, took into account that Kemp, of St Marychurch, "deeply regretted what happened", was struggling to cope with prison life and that she had been threatened by another inmate.

The court also heard how the defendant was unable to respond appropriately to stress, as outlined in a medical report.

Kemp, originally from Burnley, Lancashire, met Mr Rusling on an internet dating site, the court heard.

Outside court, Det Insp Neil Devoto, of Dorset Police, said: "Martin Rusling was well loved by his family and was popular with residents in Portland and Weymouth.

"He was in a six-month relationship with Carol Kemp but there was a cooling off period over Christmas. She reacted violently to this and took his life with a fatal stab wound do the heart.

"It was a callous act against a defenceless man."

The trial had originally been listed for July but was brought forward at the request of Judge Dobbs.

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