Man who stabbed former girlfriend to death guilty of murder

|News, Violent crime

A man who stabbed his former girlfriend to death in a frenzied attack at a busy shopping centre has today been convicted of her murder.

Joshua Stimpson, 26, had admitted killing Molly McLaren after approaching her while she was sitting in her car in Chatham on 29 June 2017 but denied his actions amounted to murder.

However, a jury at Maidstone Crown Court today convicted him of the charge following a two-week trial.

The court heard how Stimpson had been in a seven-month relationship with 23-year-old Molly, but she had ended this two weeks before her death.

After the relationship finished, Stimpson posted derogatory messages about Molly on social media and, the night before the murder, turned up at the pub she was in and repeatedly looked over at her, which Molly’s friends said made her feel uncomfortable.

On the morning of 29 June, Stimpson arrived at Molly’s gym at the Dockland Outlet Centre and after she left, he approached her and stabbed her to death. In addition to the murder weapon, police recovered two Stanley knives and a pick axe from Stimpson’s car at the scene.

Claire Prodger, from the CPS, said: “Joshua Stimpson armed himself with a knife and carried out a violent attack in broad daylight which robbed a young woman of her future.

“Stimpson admitted Molly’s manslaughter but his defence claimed he was not guilty of murder because he had suffered an abnormality of his mental functioning. However, through the use of expert medical evidence, the prosecution was able to show to the jury that Stimpson was aware of his actions and they did amount to murder.

“I hope this conviction can bring some measure of comfort to Molly’s family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this time.”

Stimpson was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 26 years.

Notes to editors

Claire Prodger is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South-East

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