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‘Fearless’ soldier ‘brutally killed by her sword-wielding partner’ who was on bail

A “fearless” Afghan veteran was brutally killed by her sword-wielding partner while he was on bail, an inquest has heard.

Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, 26, was stabbed in the neck with a sword, strangled and battered with a broken bottle by Terence Papworth, it was said.

A coroner heard the former soldier and Army reservist suffered multiple injuries at his home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in June 2020.

Papworth, 45, was on bail after appearing in court charged with assaulting the mother-of-one, Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard on Monday.

He died in prison last year while on remand charged with murder.

Miss Stringfellow’s mother, Jacqueline Fareham, said in statement read to the inquest that her daughter was “fearless and self-assured”.

She added her daughter had wanted to be in the Army since she was 10 years old and described how she “was so proud of what Amy-Leanne had become” both as a soldier and a mother.

Ms Fareham said her daughter retrained as a personal trainer and becoming a successful bodybuilder after leaving the military with post-natal depression following the birth of her daughter.

She said that she felt her daughter was “slipping away” after she split from the father of her child and met Papworth.

And described how she became more and more concerned for her daughter and told the inquest Papworth had threatened Miss Stringfellow with a gun.

A coroner heard how he was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and assaulting Miss Stringfellow in early May following an incident with her young daughter present.

He was charged after breaching his police bail and was bailed again by magistrates to appear in court again in July, 2020.

The bail conditions included having no contact with his partner but the court heard how they continued to see each other.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation looking at the involvement of the police in the run-up to Miss Stringfellow’s death, is ongoing, the inquest heard.

Detective Constable Mark Briggs, of South Yorkshire Police, said Papworth left his home after killing Miss Stringfellow late on June 5 and admitted what he did to a number of people before handing himself in to police that night.

Mr Briggs said Papworth told one person: “I just stood there and let the life drain out of her.”

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.”

She said: “She excelled during her time with the armed services. Perhaps more important, and not to be forgotten, she was a dedicated mum.”

The coroner explained that she had decided to hold the inquest before the IOPC had published its conclusions because she did not feel that this investigation would be relevant to what she had to determine.

Miss Slater said Miss Stringfellow’s family had agreed with this course of action.

Papworth died in Leeds Prison in November 2020.

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