Heart­break­ing state­ment from Molly’s fam­ily

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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