Tees

Hartlepool killer's mental illness 'not enough' for defence

Kelly Franklin Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Kelly Franklin was stabbed to death in August

A man accused of murdering his former partner is claiming diminished responsibility, a court heard.

However, although Torbjorn Kettlewell had a mild mental illness, it was not severe enough to provide him with the defence, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Kelly Franklin was fatally stabbed in the street in Hartlepool in August.

Mr Kettlewell, 30, denies murder. His former neighbour and occasional lover, Julie Wass, 48, denies murder but has admitted assisting an offender.

The jury heard that Mr Kettlewell, of The Oval, admits stabbing Ms Franklin and is using the defence of diminished responsibility, which would reduce the offence to manslaughter.

However, consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Mark Turner, who assessed Mr Kettlewell, found he had mild depression and borderline personality difficulties, but no official disorder.

This put him at the "mild end of the mental illness spectrum", he said.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Torbjorn Kettlewell denies murder

Mr Kettlewell's condition had some impact on his ability to control his behaviour, but not substantially, the jury was told.

Another consultant psychiatrist, Dr Pratish Thakkar, agreed the defendant did not meet the criteria for diminished responsibility.

The court heard Mr Kettlewell had searched for Ms Franklin, the mother of his three children. and stabbed her more than 30 times with a kitchen knife.

The attack was witnessed by terrified members of the public.

Ms Wass, of Kipling Road, then drove him away to woods in Trimdon, County Durham, where he could hide and destroy his phone, the court has heard.

The jury was told her defence would be heard on Thursday.

The trial continues.

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