Partner guilty of murdering Britain's Got Talent nurse

image copyrightMetropolitan Police
image captionDesmond Sylva attacked Ms Kerr in bed with a 20cm kitchen knife

An ex-soldier who stabbed his Britain's Got Talent finalist partner more than 70 times and slashed her throat has been convicted of her murder.

Desmond Sylva attacked nurse Simonne Kerr, 31, with a kitchen knife in an "utterly terrifying attack" at his south London flat on 15 August.

He had admitted manslaughter but denied murder, claiming his depression impaired his mental function.

Sylva, 41, of Clapham, will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 28 June.

During the trial, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said the actions of the Iraq war veteran were a case of "sexual desire, appalling violence and desperate lies".

He said Sylva "wanted to restart a sexual relationship" with Ms Kerr, his on-off girlfriend.

"When he did not get what he wanted, he could not control his anger and he exploded," the court heard.

image copyrightNHS Press Office/PA
image captionSimonne Kerr appeared on Britain's Got Talent following the death of her son Kavele

The Crown Prosecution Service said that the pair ended the relationship earlier in 2018, but rekindled it a month before the killing.

Ms Kerr, whose six-year-old son Kavele died of sickle cell disease, found fame as part of an NHS choir, called B Positive, on the ITV talent show.

She met Sylva through a dating app and had arranged to visit his flat after finishing her shift at Guys and St Thomas's Hospital on the day she died.

In a statement Ms Kerr's family said: "15 August will forever be a day our family will remember and we will mourn our loss.

"A beautiful butterfly will forever remind us of Simonne."

image copyrightPA
image captionMs Kerr was pronounced dead at the scene on 15 August last year

In a 999 call played in court, Sylva said: "I've just committed a murder. I'm ex-Army and I've got lots of mental health issues."

He had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 2002 and 2012 before being discharged on medical grounds.

Since then he has had treatment on a number of occasions and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

He told the court he did not mean to kill Ms Kerr and that when he slashed her throat "at that split second I thought I had a mental breakdown".

Giving evidence, psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph questioned whether the attack had anything to do with being depressed and suggested Sylva was "pre-disposed to violence".

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