Simonne Kerr: Ex-soldier boyfriend stabbed her ‘more than 70 times’ murder trial hears

PUBLISHED: 11:05 04 June 2019

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

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


Wembley mum Simonne Kerr was was stabbed more than 70 times by her former soldier boyfriend in an “utterly terrifying” attack, a court has heard.

Dawn Butler withSimonne Kerr, her son and family (Pic ture: Sickle Cell Society)Dawn Butler withSimonne Kerr, her son and family (Pic ture: Sickle Cell Society)

The nurse, 31, who was also a charity campaigner and Britain's Got Talent star, "did not stand a chance" when Desmond Sylva came at her with an eight inch long kitchen knife, the Old Bailey heard.

Sylva, who served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Iraq and Kosovo, had been admitted to hospital with suicidal thoughts and threatened to kill himself or someone else the night before, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

The 41-year-old Jamaica-born defendant has admitted manslaughter but denies murder, claiming his depression impaired his mental function.

However, the prosecution allege that he attacked the Guy's and St Thomas' nurse simply because he "lost his temper".

Opening his trial, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said Ms Kerr was last seen leaving the hospital where she worked on August 15 last year, heading to Sylva's flat in Clapham, south London.

At lunchtime that day, Sylva telephoned his brother to say he had just murdered his girlfriend before alerting emergency services, the jury was told.

In a 999 call played in court, Sylva said: "Can I have police please? I've just committed a murder.

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Asked why he had done it, he said: "She's just get on my nerves, man, trying to fight me and take my money so I had to defend myself (sic)."

Armed officers were deployed after Sylva told the operator he was "armed and dangerous" with a gun and knife, before correcting himself by saying he only had a blade.

Police found Ms Kerr's body wrapped in a blood-soaked duvet, suggesting she had been attacked while lying in bed, jurors heard.

Mr Glasgow said: "What is obvious is that Simonne Kerr did not stand a chance.

"The last few minutes of her life must have been utterly terrifying: repeatedly stabbed by the man who was supposed to care for her but who in the end simply butchered her and then tried to blame her for what he had done.

"The question that you will have to determine is why he did what he did."

The day before the killing, the defendant allegedly told his brother, Damian Sylva, that he was going to kill himself or someone else.

Simonne had been a vocal campaigner raising awareness of the dangers of sickle-cell disease after her son Kavele died due to complications with the condition - she even appeared on Britain's Got Talent as part of the fundraising B Positive Choir.

The Old Bailey trial is expected to go on for up to 10 days.

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