Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously this month, we have remembered Miriam Nyazema, Denisa Silmen, and just three days ago cancer survivor, Jan Bennett, 67 who was raped, killed, and her body set on fire.
Today we remember Nurse Simonne Kerr, 31, who loved to sing and give others joy being part of NHS choir B Positive who reached the final of Britain Got Talent. Simone had suffered significant trauma in her life – her son dying of sickle cell disease in 2015, aged just six.
Trying to move her life forward, she formed a relationship with Desmond Sylva, whom she met via a dating app. Sylva was ex-army and suffered from mental health issues which came to the fore on the 15th August 2018 at his flat in Clapham, south London. There he slashed the throat of Simonne with a 20cm kitchen knife, then stabbing her 70 times, telling the police (after phoning them to report his crime), that “she just got on my nerves.”
Whilst admitting his crime, he contested a murder charge claiming mental illness, which was rejected by the jury at his trial in July 2019.
During sentencing, Old Bailey Judge Wendy Joseph QC told Sylva that Simmone “was in your home undressed and in your bed and was about as vulnerable as a person can be.”
She continued that Sylva had a “dreadful and ungovernable” temper and called it a “sustained and ferocious attack – you killed Simonne Kerr because you are a man of violent disposition prone to outbursts of violent temper.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph