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Simonne Kerr stabbing: Ex-soldier appears in court charged with campaigner’s murder

PUBLISHED: 14:47 21 August 2018

Simonne Kerr with her son Kavele    Picture: NHS Blood & Transplant

Simonne Kerr with her son Kavele Picture: NHS Blood & Transplant

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An ex-soldier will go on trial in the new year accused of murdering his girlfriend, who performed on Britain’s Got Talent in an NHS choir.

Desmond Sylva, 40, allegedly stabbed nurse Simonne Kerr at their home in Battersea, south-west London.

Police had been called to the Victorian terrace at 12.40pm on August 15 where they found Ms Kerr, 31, with a deep wound to her neck.

She was pronounced dead at the scene at around 1.45pm.

Sylva, of Grayshott Road, was subsequently arrested and charged with her murder.

The defendant made his first appearance at the Old Bailey via videolink from Wandsworth prison, wearing a grey sweatshirt.

He spoke only to confirm his identity and British nationality during the hearing before Judge Sarah Munro QC.

A provisional two-week trial was set for February 11 next year with a plea hearing on November 6.

Sylva, who sat quietly throughout the short hearing, was then remanded into custody.

Simonne, whose death sparked the 90th homicide investigation in the capital this year, was living in the flat but was originally from Wembley, north-west London.

The nurse at Guy’s Hospital, near London Bridge, appeared on the talent show with the B Positive Choir to encourage blood donations, after her young son Kavele died from complications of sickle cell disease.

A spokeswoman from NHS Blood and Transplant has described her as a “valued and respected member of the B Positive choir”.

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