Man jailed for 26 years for brutal knife murder of ex-girlfriend in car park

A warehouse worker has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 26 years after murdering his ex-girlfriend in a shopping centre car park.

The jury took less than four hours to convict Joshua Stimpson at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday after he stabbed 23-year-old Molly McLaren more than 75 times in Chatham, Kent, on June 29 last year.

The 26-year-old, dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, showed no emotion as Judge Adele Williams told him he may never be released from jail.

Joshua Stimpson, 25 and Molly McLaren as the warehouse worker has been jailed for her murder (Kent Police/PA)
Joshua Stimpson, 25 and Molly McLaren as the warehouse worker has been jailed for her murder (Kent Police/PA)

She said: "This was a cruel, calculated and cowardly act. This was an act of wickedness.

"You took away Molly's life quite deliberately in the most vicious fashion.

"You were determined to punish her for ending the relationship with you. You were seeking revenge.

"She was 23-years-old, beautiful and intelligent.

"Her family's grief and anguish is raw and apparent for everyone to see."

Joshua Stimpson pictured on CCTV purchasing a knife (Kent Police/PA)
Joshua Stimpson pictured on CCTV purchasing a knife (Kent Police/PA)

She said he had shown no remorse for killing Ms McLaren, adding: "I am sure you are not suffering from a personality disorder.

"You planned this killing.

"You are a highly dangerous young man and you will pose a very considerable risk to women for a very considerable period in the future."

Ms McLaren's family, sat in a packed public gallery, cried as the sentence was read out.

As Stimpson was led to the cells, one of her relatives shouted: "Go on, you bastard."

A CCTV image showing Joshua Stimpson being arrested at the Dockside retail outlet in Chatham, Kent shortly after he stabbed Ms McLaren to death (Kent Police/PA)
A CCTV image showing Joshua Stimpson being arrested at the Dockside retail outlet in Chatham, Kent shortly after he stabbed Ms McLaren to death (Kent Police/PA)

The university student dated Stimpson, of Wouldham near Rochester, for seven months after they met on Tinder.

But when she ended their relationship he stalked her and posted derogatory messages on Facebook falsely claiming she had taken cocaine so she reported him to police.

Stimpson carried out a frenzied attack with a kitchen knife as she sat in her car outside the Dockside retail outlet less than two weeks after she broke up with him.

Before standing trial he pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility but denied murder.

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