Stalker who killed ex-girlfriend when she ended their relationship is jailed for life

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A warehouse worker who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death after she ended their relationship had been reported to the police four years earlier for stalking a previous partner, it can be revealed.

Joshua Stimpson brutally killed 23-year-old Molly McLaren in a shopping centre car park in Kent after she reported him to the police for posting derogatory remarks about her online.

During his trial it emerged that he had stalked two ex-girlfriends and had been reported to the police before about his behaviour.

Miss McLaren’s devastated family said more needed to be done to raise awareness of the dangers of “digital stalking” to prevent similar tragedies happening in the future.

In a statement the family said: “We feel there needs to be more awareness over the dangers of stalking and the need for people to report any concerns that they may have to the police.

“The verdict has brought us a small measure of comfort. But it seems 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.”

Molly McLaren was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in June last year Credit: PA

The pair met on the dating app, Tinder, and dated for seven months before Miss McLaren, a student at the University of Kent, ended their relationship.

In the two weeks that followed, Stimpson stalked her and posted derogatory messages on Facebook falsely claiming she had been taking cocaine, warning there was “more to come”.

Joshua Stimpson was arrested at the scene Credit: PA

She reported the posts to Facebook but nothing happened, so she went with her mother Joanna to North Kent Police Station.

A police officer called Stimpson in their presence, put him on speakerphone and warned him to stop or face prosecution.

The 26-year-old was spoken to by police for a second time on  June 27  last year, just two days before her death.

The couple had met on the Tinder dating app  Credit: PA

Alexandra Dale, who dated him in 2013, had also reported his behaviour towards her to police.

Kent Police reported itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, now known as the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), after Miss McLaren’s death.

A spokesman said: “Following careful assessment it was determined that this matter could be investigated by Kent Police’s professional standards department.”

The knife used to murder Molly McLaren Credit: PA

The force said the inquiry would be finalised once criminal proceedings were concluded.

He claimed to have no memory of the attack and his barristers said psychiatric assessments showed he had a borderline personality disorder.

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

Stimpson showed no emotion as Judge Adele Williams jailed him for a minimum of 26 years and said he may never be released.

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

She described the Ms McLaren as “beautiful and intelligent”, adding: “I am sure you are not suffering from a personality disorder. You planned this killing.”

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



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