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Tuesday 23rd July 2019

War veteran found guilty of murdering Britain's Got Talent finalist Simonne Kerr

He stabbed his partner 70 times and slashed her throat

A war veteran has been found guilty of murdering nurse Simonne Kerr, who was a finalist on Britain's Got Talent.

Last year, ex-soldier Desmond Sylva was charged with attacking 31-year-old partner Simonne with a kitchen knife in an "utterly terrifying attack" at his south London flat on August 15.

Police and an air ambulance were called to the flat at midday on the day in question, but it was too late to save Simonne.

Almost a year later (June 19), he has been convicted of her murder at London's Old Bailey.

The B Positive Choir appeared on BGT in 2018 (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

The 31-year-old nurse was found by police in Grayshott Road, Battersea, after she had been stabbed more than 70 times and had her throat slashed.

Her murderer, who served in Iraq and Kosovo, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, citing depression.

However, according to Independent.co.uk, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC told jurors it was an all too familiar case of "sexual desire, appalling violence and desperate lies".

Simone sang with the B Positive choir (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

He said: "He wanted to restart a sexual relationship with Simonne Kerr. When he did not get what he wanted, he could not control his anger and he exploded."

Britain's Got Talent fans will remember Simonne from her appearance on the show in 2018.

The nurse, who had tragically lost her six-year-old son Kavele to sickle cell disease in 2015, sang with the NHS choir B Positive and campaigned to raise awareness of the condition.

The group made it to the finals of the talent show as the wild card act, before eventually losing out to Lost Voice Guy.

The vocal harmony group's rendition of Rise Up had the judges and audience in tears.

During the trial, the court was told that Simonne had met Mr Sylva through the dating app Tinder.

Simonne and her late son (Credit: NHS Press Office)

The Crown Prosecution Service said that the pair ended the relationship earlier in 2018, but rekindled it a month before the killing.

On the morning of 15 August 2018, Simonne arranged to visit his flat after her shift at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital.

However, she was brutally attacked in bed with a 20cm kitchen knife.

After killing her, Mr Sylva called 999 and said: "I've just committed a murder. I'm ex-Army and I've got lots of mental health issues."

Desmond Sylva has been found guilty (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

Jurors heard that he had a history of depression, bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder as well as anger issues.

Giving evidence, he said: "I did not mean to kill her. I had deep feelings for her."

Judge Wendy Joseph QC adjourned sentencing until 28 June.

At the time of her death, a Britain's Got Talent spokesperson said: "We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear that Simonne Kerr has died.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with Simonne's family and friends during this difficult and devastating time."

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