Heartbreaking statement from Molly’s family
The family of Molly McLaren released a heartbreaking statement.
It read: “The last six months have been horrid beyond belief. We couldn’t have got through it without the love and support of family and friends.
“The number of Molly’s friends has staggered us, the like of which we have never known. Those who have visited and shared in our pain have been a great help.
“We would like to thank Kent Police for their diligence collecting and collating the evidence. We would also like to thank the prosecution team for expediting the due process of the law.
“The full extent of the digital stalking of Molly by Joshua Stimpson may never be known.
“We would like to thank Benjamin Morton for his brave efforts at the car park when he tried to intervene, and hope one day to thank him personally. The contrast in morality between these two people could not be more profound.
“However, in light of this case, we feel there needs to be more awareness over the dangers of stalking and the need for people to report any concerns over stalking to the police. The verdict has brought us a small measure of comfort, but it seems that nothing will take away the pain or allow us to come to terms with our Molly being taken from us. We are serving a lifetime of pain, anguish and loss.
“Our focus now turns to making sure Molly will live on through The Molly McLaren Foundation, helping people with eating disorders.
“A light has gone out in all of our hearts but shines bright as a star forever glowing.
“We love you Molly.” A bitter stalker who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death inside her car at the Dockside Outlet in Chatham was branded “wicked and cowardly” by a judge as she jailed him for life.
Joshua Stimpson was told he’d serve a minimum of 26 years and warned he may never be released after being found guilty of murdering Molly McLaren.
The double- glazing worker tracked the 23-year-old university student before inflicting at least 75 wounds on her as she sat trapped and helpless in her car.
Despite prompt medical attention, she died at the scene on the morning of June 29 last year.
Stimpson, 26, of High Street, Wouldham, admitted manslaughter, claiming diminished responsibility, but denied murder.
The jury of eight men and four women was out for less than four hours before unanimously finding him guilty of murder.
There were shouts of “Yes” and sobs from Molly’s mother Jo and friends.
Stimpson showed no emotion and stared ahead as Judge Adele Williams told him: “This was a cruel and cowardly act. This was an act of wickedness. You took away Molly’s life quite deliberately in the most vicious fashion.
“You slit her throat while repeatedly stabbing her. You did this because she had brought the relationship with you to an end about 12 days before this killing.”
Maidstone Crown Court heard Stimpson slashed Molly in the head and neck “again and again” in what a witness described as “like a frenzy”.
Brave Benjamin Morton tried to pull Stimpson off as he continued the attack, but could not do so.
Mr Morton then tried to shut the door on Stimpson’s leg, but Stimpson closed it and the onslaught continued.
Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC said the claim of diminished responsibility was not accepted.
Defence expert Dr Shahid Majid assessed him as suffering from an “abnormality of functioning” arising from a mental condition, while prosecution psychiatrist Dr Philip Joseph said he believed Stimpson was not suffering from any recognised medical condition.
Molly, a second year student taking sports, exercise and nutrition, at the Medway campus of Kent University, and Stimpson dated from the end of November 2016 until June last year, with a break in March. After she told him it was over, he posted derogatory comments and photos of her on social media and began following her.
Stimpson was caught on CCTV cameras in Asda in Chatham buying the knife which he used to kill Molly. He also bought a pickaxe.
On the morning of June 29, Molly went to the gym and parked nearby. She was working out when Stimpson entered the gym and she contacted her mum who told her to come straight home.
But Stimpson got in her car alongside her and started stabbing her repeatedly. He was still covered in blood when police arrested him.
Clockwise from top left, murderer Joshua Stimpson; Dockside Outlet in Chatham where the attack took place; Stimpson buying the knife used in the attack; second year student Molly McLaren; and the McLaren family, including her mum Joanne, centre, outside court