'Jealous' Lewisham man guilty of stabbing partner to death over WhatsApp messages

Eurostar worker Marlene Colene, 53, died in the kitchen of her flat in Lewisham, south east London, in June last year Credit: Metropolitan Police

A "jealous and possessive" man has been found guilty of stabbing his partner to death in a fit of rage after he discovered messages from another man.

Jamaican-born builder Franklin McLeod, 55, stabbed Eurostar worker Marlene Coleman, 53, in the neck in the kitchen of her flat in Lewisham, south-east London, in June last year.

McLeod then disposed of the knife before walking into a police station, the Old Bailey heard.

He told police they had argued, he put his hands around her throat and she fell unconscious.

McLeod, of Cressingham Road, Lewisham, said he went out to clear his head and on his return he found her in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.

Police found Ms Coleman lying face down in the kitchen with a stab wound passing all the way through her neck.

In his interview, McLeod denied murdering or stabbing Ms Coleman, insisting he loved her.

But, jurors heard McLeod was possessive of Ms Coleman and had been jealous of her spending time with other people or speaking to them on the phone.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson KC had said: “She stated that when she challenged him about things he was sometimes violent towards her, however she would never go into detail.”

A few years before her death, Ms Coleman had struck up a friendship with another man, Kevin Williams, who lived in Jamaica and was helping her build a house there.

Mr Patterson said: “Things came to a head last year. She planned to fly on her own to Jamaica on 21 June 2021.

“A few days before her planned trip the defendant searched through Ms Coleman’s phone.

“On it he found voice notes which had been sent to her by Kevin Williams. The defendant, in his anger, confronted Ms Coleman about what he had found.

“An argument started between them in her flat. It moved into the kitchen. It ended with the defendant using a knife and stabbing Ms Coleman to death, through her neck.”

Jurors were told the couple had been in a relationship for more than 10 years and in that time McLeod had been “possessive and jealous”.

Mr Patterson said: “The prosecution case is that having discovered those voice notes, the defendant, in his anger, confronted Ms Coleman and stabbed her.

“There is no dispute but that at some stage that evening Ms Coleman was stabbed to death in the flat that the defendant was staying in with her.”

The defendant was later to tell police they should be looking for someone else, although no evidence was found indicating an intruder had entered the premises, jurors were told.

McLeod had denied murder and was found guilty after a jury deliberated over two days.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on November 18.

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