Partner 'stabbed Britain's Got Talent nurse 70 times'

Simonne Kerr Image copyright NHS Press Office/PA
Image caption Simonne Kerr joined the B Positive Choir following the death of her son Kavele

A nurse who performed on Britain's Got Talent was killed by her partner who stabbed her more than 70 times and slashed her throat, a court has heard.

Simonne Kerr, 31, was last seen heading to Desmond Sylva's flat in Clapham, south London, on 15 August last year.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Sylva called his brother at lunchtime that day to say he had killed his girlfriend before he alerted the emergency services.

The 41-year-old denies murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC told the jury Ms Kerr "did not stand a chance" during the "utterly terrifying attack".

"Desmond Sylva had used a kitchen knife... and despite her efforts to fight him off, she was clearly powerless to do so," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Kerr was pronounced dead at the scene on 15 August last year

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

"I'm ex-Army and I've got lots of mental health issues."

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

Mr Glasgow said Mr Sylva's depression "neither explains nor justifies his actions" and suggested he had simply "lost his temper".

The body of the Guy's and St Thomas's nurse was found lying beside a bed, wrapped in a blood-soaked duvet.

"The last few minutes of [Ms Kerr's] 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," Mr Glasgow said.

"He chose to pick up a knife and he chose to use it again and again to stab Simonne Kerr at a time when he was not acting in lawful self-defence."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Kerr was killed in an "utterly terrifying attack", the court heard

Jurors heard Mr Sylva had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 2002 and 2012 before he was discharged on medical grounds.

Since then he has been given treatment on a number of occasions and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The court heard Mr Sylva had been briefly admitted to hospital after telling his mother he was feeling suicidal on 9 August last year, while the day before Ms Kerr's death he allegedly told his brother he was going to kill himself or someone else.

Ms Kerr joined the B Positive Choir after the death of her six-year-old son Kavele from complications of sickle cell disease.

She performed with the choir in last year's final of the ITV talent show, which was won by Lost Voice Guy.

The trial continues.

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