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Woman killed in her Ipswich flat suffered 28 stab wounds, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 12:43 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 10 April 2019

The scene around Siloam Place, and inset, Thomas Kemp  Picture: ARCHANT

The scene around Siloam Place, and inset, Thomas Kemp Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

An inquest into the death of a University of Suffolk administrator suspected of fatally stabbing his wife at their Ipswich flat has been told of his history of mental illness.

The scene around Siloam Place  Picture: ARCHANT The scene around Siloam Place Picture: ARCHANT

Katherine Kemp, 31, who worked at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, was stabbed 28 times in Siloam Place on August 6. Police are treating her death as murder.

Her husband Thomas Kemp, 32, died at the scene and his death is not being treated as suspicious by police.

An inquest opened today at Suffolk Coroner’s court in Ipswich, and is set to last for six days.

Dr Michael McCullagh, senior partner at the GP surgery where the couple were both registered, said Mr Kemp first presented with mental health issues in 2016.

The scene around Siloam Place  Picture: ARCHANT The scene around Siloam Place Picture: ARCHANT

He said Mr Kemp was urgently referred to mental health services in 2017 after he threw himself on the floor of the surgery during an appointment. Mr Kemp said he felt it was “not worth being alive” and started to “strangulate himself”.

Mental health worker Chantal Eoche-Duval said she assessed Mr Kemp after the “meltdown” and said he told her he was “conscious about the size of his genitalia” and had been on the “receiving end of jokes and digs about it”.

He told her he had seen escorts for reassurance, she said.

Psychiatric nurse Julie Murphy said that in a separate assessment in July 2018 Mr Kemp told her he also had sex with escorts and felt “guilty” about this.

“He went on to say he had told his wife about his use of escorts,” she said.

She said he appeared to be suffering from a “high level of anxiety”.

He had previously said to his mother that “living with mental health issues was a living hell.”

In a statement read to the court on behalf of Mr Kemp’s mother, Marian Mitchell, the families’ lawyer, Jonathan Metzer said: “Tom was a very affectionate child. He was a very clever and kind lad.

“Tom was besotted with Katherine, He idolised her. I can’t believe he would hurt her. “I talked to him on August 2 before I went on holiday. He said that he hadn’t slept in the past three days and he had been sent home from work because he looked unwell.

“He told me he loved me. He wanted me to know that he loved me.”

Area Coroner, Jacqueline Devonish, is first hearing evidence surrounding the death of Mr Kemp before then hearing the details of Mrs Kemp’s death.

The court heard how on August 6, officers were called to reports of a man lying on the floor, covered in blood in Siloam Place.

They found Thomas Kemp, who worked as a course administrator at the University of Suffolk, shortly afterwards. They then forced entry to their flat to find Katherine Kemp on the floor in a pool of blood.

They were both pronounced dead at the scene and the cause of death for both was given as multiple stab wounds. Police said Mrs Kemp’s death was being treated as murder.

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