Mum killed by boyfriend who stabbed her with sword and ‘watched life drain out’

A 26-year-old mum who was strangled and stabbed with a sword by her boyfriend was left to die on his bed as he watched “life drain out of her”.

Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, 26, died on June 5 last year in Dryden Road, Balby, Doncaster, after being brutally attacked by Terence Papworth, 45.

The mum-of-one and army veteran was subjected to a “sustained” and “brutal attack” as a total of 58 different injuries were found on her body.

An inquest at Doncaster Coroners Court heard she was strangled, hit with a smashed vodka bottle, stabbed and slashed with a sword and left dead on Papworth’s bed.

Papworth had been on bail for assaulting and threatening to kill her when he carried out the fatal attack.

He had confessed he had killed his girlfriend to his mum and friends before turning himself in to the police, the inquest heard.

When his sister asked him if he’d killed her, he replied: “I’ve killed her, I’ve just stood there and watched the life drain out of her.”

A statement from Amy’s mum Jacqueline Fareham read out in court described her as a popular and sociable girl who had a successful career in the army and was a devoted mum to her daughter.

Ms Fareham said her daughter was “fearless and self-assured”.

In total she had 58 different areas of injury on her body after the brutal attack.

Forensic pathologist Charles Wilson told the court that there were a “number of ways” that could have caused her death.

For that reason her cause of death was recorded as multiple injuries.

Papworth had been charged with her murder and was awaiting his court case in prison when he was found dead in his cell at HMP Leeds on November 22.

It was just days before his court case.

An inquest has been held into her death by coroner Louise Slater today, March 8, at Doncaster Coroners Court.

In a statement read out of the court from Amy’s mother Jacqueline it was heard that Amy-Leanne had a successful career in the army.

The 26-year-old from Sprotbrough had completed a tour of Afghanistan before meeting her boyfriend Craig Patterson and falling pregnant.

After giving birth in 2014, she pursued a career in personal training and also got into bodybuilding.

The court heard that after splitting up with Craig she met Terence Papworth in November 2019.

Jacqueline said at first they treated him like “one of the family” but eventually they felt like he was “too good to be true”.

After a while her family started to feel that she was “slipping away” as she didn’t speak to or spend as much time with her family.

Her mum described that they had only seen them four to five times together as a couple and she spoke to Amy-Leanne less and less.

Papworth proposed to her on New Year’s Eve.

Jacqueline said that Amy-Leanne was always very sociable and knew how to work a room but that changed and she would stick close to her new partner.

The family started to notice problems in February 2020 as the couple had argued but they got back together again.

In one instance the mum Jacqueline said that Amy-Leanne had two black eyes after something happened between her and Papworth.

She said in her statement that she was aware that he had threatened her with a gun and he was out on bail.

On May 15, Amy-Leanne had gone to his house after he told her that he had taken an overdose.

He was arrested again in hospital on suspicion of common assault and was again released on bail.

On June 5 2020 Amy-Leanne had told her family that she was visiting a friend in Bridlington.

But just after 5pm that evening Amy was captured arriving at Terence Papworth’s house on Dryden Road, Balby and going inside.

At around 8pm Terence Papworth was found to have taken photographs on his phone of Amy and both of their initials carved into each other.

He then took a picture of her injured on his bed about two and a half hours later, before he was captured leaving the house going to his van and then driving off.

About an hour later he reported to Doncaster Police Station to hand himself in stating that he had just killed his partner.

Police and ambulance arrived on the scene and found Amy-Leanne severely injured in an upstairs room. She was officially pronounced dead at 12.12am.

After killing Amy-Leanne, Papworth arrived at his mother’s house at around 11.10pm that evening.

The court heard from DC Mark Briggs that his sister had asked him if he had killed her.

His response was: “I’ve killed her, I’ve just stood there and watched the life drain out of her.”

He added: “I’ve killed her, she’s definitely dead.”

He rang numerous friends to confess to them what he had done as well.

To one friend Steven Cook he called him and said: “I’ve killed her.”

In a statement from Mr Cook read out in court it said: “Tez told me she showed him messages of five to six men she was having sex with.”

DC Mark Briggs told the inquest that the police had been involved with domestic incidents between Papworth and Amy-Leanne before.

At the time of Amy-Leanne’s death he was on bail for common assault and awaiting a court hearing on July 31.

He had previously also been arrested on suspicion of assault and threats to kill.

DC Briggs said that police were not looking for anyone else in connection with Amy-Leanne’s death.

An IOPC investigation and a Domestic Homicide Review are both underway.

Assistant coroner Louise Slater concluded that Amy-Leanne Stringfellow was unlawfully killed.

She said: “Amy-Leanne Stringfellow died on June 5 2020 at Dryden Road in Balby, Doncaster as a result of multiple injuries.

“My conclusion is that she was unlawfully killed.”

She went on to give her condolences to the family and said that Amy-Leanne was obviously “loved and cherished by her family.”