Former soldier stabbed, strangled and battered by abusive partner who was out on bail, inquest hears

Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, 26, was threatened and assaulted by Terence Papworth in weeks before her death, court told

Peter Stubley
Monday 08 March 2021 18:33
<p>The IOPC is investigating involvement of police in run-up to the death</p>

The IOPC is investigating involvement of police in run-up to the death

An army veteran was stabbed, battered and strangled to death by her partner who was on bail for a previous attack, an inquest heard.

Former soldier Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, who served in Afghanistan, suffered multiple injuries at the home of Terence Papworth in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in June last year.

Papworth, a 45-year-old builder, was charged with murdering the 26-year-old mother-of-one but died in Leeds prison in November, days before his trial was due to start.

Doncaster Coroner's Court was told how he had been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and assaulting Ms Stringfellow in early May 2020.

Papworth breached his police bail but was bailed again by magistrates to appear in court in July 2020.

The bail conditions included having no contact with Ms Stringfellow.

However, on 5 June 2020 Ms Stringfellow went to Papworth's home, despite telling her family she was going away to Bridlington for the weekend with a former Army friend.

Many of her family were in tears as home office pathologist Charles Wilson outlined the injuries inflicted upon her that evening, which he described as a "sustained, forceful multi-modal assault".

Dr Wilson said there was large cut to her neck consistent with being inflicted by one of the swords found close by.

She also suffered other injuries inflicted with a broken vodka bottle and possible punching, as well as being strangled.

Dc Mark Briggs, of South Yorkshire Police, told the inquest that Papworth admitted the killing to several people before handing himself in to police later that night.

Papworth told one person: "I just stood there and let the life drain out of her," the court heard.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is still investigating the involvement of South Yorkshire Police in the run-up to Ms Stringfellow's death.

Her mother, Jacqueline Fareham, said in statement read to the inquest that her daughter had wanted to be in the Army since she was 10 years old.

She said her daughter was "fearless and self-assured" and described how she "was so proud of what Amy-Leanne had become" both as a soldier and a mother.

Ms Stringfellow left the military after developing post-natal depression following the birth of her daughter, retraining as a personal trainer and becoming a successful bodybuilder.

However she became much more distant from her family after she met Papworth shortly after splitting up with the father of her child, the inquest heard.

Ms Fareham said that she felt her daughter was "slipping away" and became more and more concerned for her daughter as the relationship developed.

At one point, Papworth threatened Miss Stringfellow with a gun, she said.

Assistant coroner Louise Slater recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing.

Miss Slater said: "She was obviously very much loved and cherished by her family and will not be forgotten."

The coroner added: "She excelled during her time with the armed services. Perhaps more important, and not to be forgotten, she was a dedicated mum."

Additional reporting by Press Association