Teenager stabbed 15 times: murder trial hears — (Hastings and St. Leonards Observer)

First Posted on Antidepaware.co.uk

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Hastings and St. Leonards Observer

Published 15:20 Thursday 02 October 2003

[According to Antidepaware inquest information, the antidepressant James was taking was mirtazipine.]

A “jealous and controlling” ex-boyfriend stabbed the daughter of a senior police detective to death after she started seeing another man, a court heard.

Dellwyn James, 31, allegedly launched a frenzied attack on HSBC bank clerk Rae Torbet, 19, with two kitchen knives after their relationship ended.

Miss Torbet, daughter of Det Chief Insp Jim Torbet, a Sussex Police officer based in Eastbourne, died from 15 stab wounds to the neck and face after the attack in her home in Cantelupe Road, Bexhill.

Lewes Crown Court heard how Miss Torbet had started seeing James in August last year, but split up with him shortly before her murder after he accused her of seeing another man.

Prosecutor Philip Katz QC said: “He was a jealous and controlling boyfriend and in his own admission to police he had provoked a row with her by falsely accusing her of going out with someone else.

“The prosecution say two weeks after that he went to her flat, getting in with a key he had tricked out of a friend, and killed her. Rae Torbet was 19 at the time of her death, this defendant was 31. She was described as a hard working young woman with lots of friends and much liked.

“After she had ended the relationship, the defendant bombarded her with telephone calls and text messages.

“Just before she was killed she had started seeing a new boyfriend and spent time and nights with him. She was getting on with her life.


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Ex-boyfriend jailed for life for murder — (BBC News)

A fork-lift driver has been jailed for life after being convicted of murdering the daughter of a senior Sussex police officer in a jealous rage.

Dellwyn James, 31, killed his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend Rae Torbet at her flat in Cantelupe Road, in March.

Miss Torbet, whose father is Detective Chief Inspector Jim Torbet, was stabbed more than 15 times in the neck and face.

During the trial, the court heard about two suicide attempts by James, once after the couple’s separation and then after killing Miss Torbet.

Grieving father

Today Rae’s father said he hoped it would be “third time lucky” for his daughter’s murderer.

He said: “This was never the greatest ‘whodunnit’ murder investigation.

“With regards to Dellwyn James, I would just like to say all the luck in the world.

“On March 16 he allegedly attempted to commit suicide, and after butchering my daughter, he allegedly attempted to commit suicide.

“Now I say third time lucky, I wish him all the luck.”

James, of Chiltern Drive, Hastings, denied murder.

He claimed he could not remember much of the day as he had been drinking and had taken anti-depressant drugs.

The jury at Lewes Crown Court took less than an hour to convict him after he refused to give evidence in his own defence.

‘An act of evil’

Judge Richard Brown jailed him for life and branded the murder “an act of evil”.

He told James: “Rae Torbet was only 19 years old when she died. Everyone in this courtroom has described her as a happy, bubbly and friendly person.

“She was a young person who lived life to the full and had everything to live for. You decided that if you could not have her, no-one would.

“In an act of wicked, jealous rage you killed her and in doing that you have deprived her of her right to life and you have removed a loved daughter and sister from her family.

“You have caused devastation in the lives of all who knew her.”