Home Kent News 8 Kent women whose lives were cut short by their evil partners

8 Kent women whose lives were cut short by their evil partners

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Original article from Kent Live

According to the UN six women are killed every hour by men around the world, most by those in their own family or their partners.

In the UK alone, a new report from the Femicide Census shows that a man kills a woman every three days in the country – a statistic unchanged across the 10 years studied.

According to the ONS, two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales while tens of thousands more experience some form of domestic violence every single day.

An eye-watering 1.6 million women in England and Wales reported experiences of domestic abuse in just one year and it is estimated that one in three women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

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And domestic abuse charities warn these appalling figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

A woman being killed at the hands of their partners is such a prevalent tragedy that there is a word for it – femicide.

Charities and campaigns such as Counting Dead Women are doing phenomenal work to highlight the devastating impact of domestic abuse – but there's more to be done.

These are the heartbreaking stories of eight women who were killed by their partners – or ex partners – in Kent.

Debbie Griggs

Debbie Griggs

Debbie Griggs was four and a half months pregnant when she was murdered by her husband in Deal.

After his evil crime, Andrew Griggs then moved 200 miles away and continued living a normal life for 20 years.

He was finally convicted in 2019 and was sentenced to life in prison for killing his pregnant wife of nine years back in 1999.

Griggs was first arrested and accused of her murder in May 1999 but lack of evidence saw him relesed.

In 2001 he moved to a new home hundreds of miles away in Ringwood Road, St Leonards, Dorset.

Debbie was a trained nurse, born and raised in Deal.

Andrew Griggs reported his wife missing, but his accounts did not match up, according to police

She married Andrew in September 1990.

The couple had three young children and Debbie was due to give birth to a fourth in September 1999, just four months after she went missing.

Exactly what happened to her is still not known and her body has never been recovered.

But the court heard the couple had briefly separated before Debbie disappeared and Griggs had been reported as telling people he "wished she was dead".

Griggs denied the charge of murder, but was found guilty by a jury in October 28 2019.

The boot of Debbie's car which was found a week after her disappearance

Speaking after the guilty verdict, Det Ch Insp Kaye Braybrook, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Debbie Griggs was a loving mother of three young sons and with a fourth child on the way.

"The jury heard from a number of witnesses who all agreed she would have never abandoned them, and was not the depressed, unstable and violent person Andrew Griggs has gone to great lengths to paint her as.

"Only Andrew knows how he killed her and what he did with her body, and I appeal to him to have the courage to speak up and enable those who continue to grieve her loss to have some form of closure.

"It is not too late for him to do the right thing.

"I hope Debbie’s surviving family can take some comfort from the outcome of this case, which is testament to the hard work and determination of cold case detectives who ensure justice catches up with serious criminals like Andrew Griggs regardless of the length of time that has passed."

Jayden Parkinson

Jayden Parkinson, 17, was strangled and buried in a graveyard by her ex-boyfriend after she told him she was pregnant

Pregnant Jayden Parkinson, 17, was strangled by her boyfriend Ben Blakeley who then buried her in his uncle's grave in Didcot, Oxfordshire, back in 2013.

The last image seen of her was on CCTV in December of that year, but her body was discovered weeks later.

A post-mortem examination showed that she had been strangled.

Blakeley, 22, a former bin man, had already admitted manslaughter and told a court he didn't mean to hurt her but was found guilty of murder.

Ben Blakeley was convicted of murdering his 17-year-old girlfriend

The jury heard how he regularly beat Jayden and just a month before her death, he had threatened to post dozens of naked pictures and videos of Jayden online in the hope she'd kill herself.

Jayden had reported his threats to the police telling officers she was terrified of Blakeley but when she discovered she was pregnant, she tried to reach out to him.

Tests have never fully revealed if she was pregnant.

Blakelely was convicted of her murder in 2014 and jailed for 20 years.

Jayden had formerly lived in Folkestone before she moved to the Oxfordshire area.

Jayden spent many happy years around the coastal park and seafront throughout her childhood

More than five years after her death, her mum Samantha Shrewsbury told the BBC she would like to see a similar system in place to the sex offenders register.

She believes this could have saved her daughter's life.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: "I hear things like lessons have been learnt. They're not being learnt; our children are being murdered, our mothers are. Sisters, daughters, aunts. When is it going to stop?

"When a register is in place then I'll know my Jayden's life wasn't in vain, because at the moment it feels like it's a kick in the face every time I see another girl murdered."

Blakelely had been violent in the past and had pushed his girlfriend down the stairs when she was seven months pregnant.

If you're experiencing domestic abuse and want to get help support is out there.

The Rising Sun Domestic Violence & Abuse service is a charity in Kent addressing domestic violence and providing services, for adults, children and families.

Their work challenges attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate domestic violence and promote healthy and non-abusive relationships.

They are going strong and have helped countless women and children over the years, whether you are looking for help or looking to help – you are in the right place.

They offer a range of services, including one stop shops, advocates, counselling, programmes and a helpine.

You can contact their helpline on 01227 452852 for confidential emotional, practical or legal support.

Alternatively, you can contact the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or the Mens' Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

In an emergency always call 999.

Parwin Quriashi

In a Christmas Day tragedy, Parwin Quriashi, 19, was hit in the face with a frying pan before being stabbed to death in her own home.

Her new husband, Mohammad Qoraishi, was behind the cold-blooded attack.

The court heard there had been family tensions following their arranged marriage four months earlier.

Just five days after moving in together, the 27-year-old taxi driver was said to have 'snapped and lost control' as Parwin cooked eggs in the kitchen of their flat in Maidstone, on December 25.

He first hit Parwin to the back of her head with the pan, then stabbed her 38 times with a 7 to 8in bladed kitchen knife to her head, face, chest, and thighs.

Parwin, who had been accepted to study law at university, was also strangled.

A neighbour later told police they heard banging, a woman screaming, and a man aggressively and repeatedly shouting 'Allah'.

Mohammad Qoraishi, 27, stabbed his wife Parwin Quriashi, 19, to death

Qoraishi, also known as Tawos, fled the scene and was arrested in his Audi A3 in Dover.

He later admitted murdering his wife and was told he must serve at least 16 years and 82 days before being considered for parole.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the couple had had an arranged marriage in Afghanistan in August last year. They were paternal cousins and had grown up together in the same house in their native country.

But there were tensions between Qoraishi and his father-in-law, Gulwali Quriashi within a few weeks of the wedding.

Qoraishi, who came to England alone from Afghanistan in 2007 and built a life for himself in Hull, wanted his new bride to join him. However, her family had insisted he came to Maidstone.

In a text to Parwin in November last year and while still living apart, Qoraishi complained: "I'm f***ing p***ed off big time. People are telling me what type of wife you have when she doesn't give a s*** about you.

"You make things hard for me now. I have to work like a donkey now. I am coming but I'm not happy at all because you don't listen to me."

A friend of Qoraishi tried to intervene but was told by Parwin's father, also a taxi driver: "Curse to his clan, curse to anyone backing him.

"Tawos is no more than a donkey. Tawos is an animal."

Passing sentence, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said Qoraishi had 'frenziedly and senselessly' murdered his young wife, who would have been a 'bright light' at Canterbury Christchurch University.

Claire Bernal

Clare Bernal died in September 2005

A beauty consultant from Tunbridge Wells, Clare Bernal was brutally murdered by her stalker ex-boyfriend.

Just 10 minutes before the end of her shift at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London, where she was working as a skin care consultant, the 22-year-old was killed by Michael Pech.

Clare had recently moved to Dulwich for her job and had only been on three dates with Pech, 30, who she had met while he was working as a security guard at her store in January 2005.

But after they split up just three weeks later, the Slovakian ex-soldier launched a stalking campaign which lasted for nine months.

Former security guard Michael Pech stalked Clare Bernal before killing her

He plagued Clare’s phone with endless phone calls, text her up to 50 times a day, watched her while she worked, stalked her in the street and even followed her home every night.

Pech told Clare he would kill her if she reported him to the police, which she eventually had to. And on September 13, 2005, he carried out that threat.

After walking into the store via a side entrance, he shot her in the back of the head and then three times in the face in as horrified colleagues and shoppers watched on before turning the gun on himself.

He shot himself in the head.

Tricia Bernal with daughter Clare

Clare's mum, Tricia, said her daughter began to have doubts about her relationship with Pech after dating him for three weeks saying: "He had shown signs of possessiveness."

Speaking on C5 documentary Stalked: Murder in Slow Motion this evening, Tricia said: "Never once did we think that he could possibly carry out his threat."

Mika Cudworth

Mika Cudworth was killed by her husband

The body of mum-of-two Mariola Cudworth was discovered in 2015 after she had been reported missing from her home in Northbourne.

Polish-born Mariola, also known as Mika, died after being stabbed four times in the chest.

Her body was discovered in a field near Eastry.

Her 'obsessive' husband of two years Jonathon was charged with her murder but was sensationally acquitted.

Jonathon Cudworth stabbed the mother of his two young children to death

A jury heard Cudworth had stabbed his wife, who he believed was cheating on him, but instead found him guilty of her manslaughter.

The court heard he 'snapped' after she threatened to leave him.

During the trial, the court heard Cudworth dragged her body into the garden, left it behind a compost heap and tried to cover his tracks.

He reported her missing, lied to her friends and family, threw her belongings in the sea and then dumped her body in a field near Eastry.

The body of Mika Cudworth was found in a field near Eastry

Cudworth even sent fake Facebook messages to make out his wife was still alive, washed her blood from the carpets and encouraged searches for the "missing" woman.

But his poor Polish grammar led her friends and family to believe she had not sent the messages.

It was reported her loved ones enlisted the help of a medium to find her body.

Molly McLaren

Molly McLaren was brutally murdered by Josh Stimpson

Popular Molly McLaren had her whole future ahead of her but it was stolen from her age just 23 by her jealous, bitter ex-boyfriend.

The popular University of Kent student was fatally stabbed by Joshua Stimpson after coming out of the gym at the Chatham Dockside outlet.

The 'Mr Right' she met on Tinder had turned into her stalker and ultimately, killer.

Her last words described her understandable fear of ex-boyfriend Stimpson who had regularly appeared at the same place as her since they broke up.

Bitter Stimpson, 26, followed Molly to the gym – caught on chilling CCTV footage – unnerving her enough to tell her friends in a haunting last Whatsapp: "I feel like I'm looking over my shoulder all the time".

Just minutes later Molly was dead.

Joshua Stimpson was found guilty of murdering ex-girlfriend Molly McLaren

Stimpson was arrested at the scene covered in blood after the frenzied attack and went on trial for her murder.

During the heartbreaking trial, the court heard Molly first dumped Stimpson when his behaviour became controlling and told him he was "suffocating her".

But Stimpson, who unbeknownstto Molly or her friends had a history of abusing ex girlfriends, wouldn't accept the relationship was over and turned nasty.

Friends described how Stimpson attacked her on Facebook with derogatory posts, even though she had blocked him from all social media.

He attempted to humiliate her and ruin the healthy image she had created for herself through fitness blogs.

Desperate to do something about his escalating behaviour, she reported his behaviour to police twice.

Molly McLaren's death shocked the nation

But Stimpson went to extreme lengths to stalk Molly, even recruiting another woman to follow her social media accounts.

He followed her to pubs and then finally to the gym where on June 29, 2017, he stabbed her 75 times in a frenzied attack.

After her death, Molly's friends and family set up the Molly McLaren Foundation donation page which has raised thousands for charity.

Her devastated friends have also spoken out about the red flags of Stimpson's behaviour to raise awareness about cyber stalking.

Sarah Wellgreen

Sarah Jane Wellgreen was last seen on October 9

"I don't know where Sarah is."

"I am in no way responsible for Sarah’s disappearance and I definitely have not killed her."

These are just some of the lies Ben Lacomba told in court when questioned over the murder of his ex-partner Sarah Wellgreen.

The 39-year-old killed the mother of his children at the home they shared in Bazes Shaw in New Ash Green on the night of October 9, 2018 – while their children were in the house.

He was then seen on CCTV in the early hours of October 10 driving out through country lanes to go and dispose of her body before returning back home.

Ben Lacomba is on trial accused of killing Sarah Wellgreen

Lacomba tried to cover up her death by parking in a different car park, switching off CCTV, throwing away his phone, cleaning his car and even changing his shoes.

But a jury saw through his lies and unanimously found him guilty of Sarah's murder.

Miss Wellgreen and Lacomba, who met online in 2004 but split up ten years later, were living together again after the 46-year-old moved back into their shared home in May 2018 to co-parent.

But Miss Wellgreen, who was given full custody of their children in a family court, was in the process of buying her former partner out of the house.

Despite extensive searches, Sarah Wellgreen's body has not been found

The prosecution listed “potential loss of his property and his children” as motivation for Lacomba’s actions.

The coward stole Sarah's life, denied his children their mother and still won't say where Sarah's body is.

Despite extensive searches across 2,771 search locations, Sarah's heartbroken family may never be able to lay her to rest.

Natalie Esack

Natalie Esack was stabbed to death in her hairdressing salon in Ashford

After her untimely death in April 2012, a report found domestic abuse complaints from Natalie Escack should have been investigated more fully.

The young hairdresser was stabbed to death by Ivan Escack in her high street salon in Ashford.

Former police officer Escack denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to at least 28 years in prison.

Natalie, who was just 33 when she was killed, had contacted Kent Police five times to report her domestic abuse concerns.

But police 'missed opportunities to take more assertive action' against Esack, who resigned from the force in 2009.

Instead, Natalie was the victim of a brutal attack in her own hairdressing business when Escack walked in and stabbed her 11 times.

Ivan Esack was found guilty of murdering his wife

She died at the scene.

In the months before her death, Escack had threatened to kill himself with a knife and on another occasion strangled his former wife until she passed out.

Controlling and 'self-obsessed' Esack had previously made death threats to his 33-year-old wife who did not want him to face prosecution.

But in a frenzied attack in front of a 17-year-old assistant and Mrs Esack's close friend, Esack stabbed his wife 11 times, so hard that the blade snapped off the handle.

When he was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court in January 2013, there was a thunderous applause from the public gallery.

Original Article