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Molly McLaren: ITV2's Social Media Murders focuses on 23-year-old stalked and killed by ex-boyfriend at Chatham Dockside

A new true-crime series looking into three shocking social media murders will tonight feature a crime that shocked Kent.

The final episode of the ITV2 series 'Social Media Murders' will focus on the tragic case of Molly McLaren.

Molly McLaren was murdered in 2017. Picture: Kent Police
Molly McLaren was murdered in 2017. Picture: Kent Police

Molly was killed by her ex-boyfriend Joshua Stimpson at Chatham Dockside on June 29, 2017. In February 2018 he was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to a minimum of 26 years in prison.

Stimpson started speaking to Molly on the dating app Tinder and they spoke for three months before she agreed to meet him in person.

A few months later she decided to end their relationship, which would ultimately end in her murder.

He turned up at the gym she went to and then followed her to the car before launching his horrifying attack. She was stabbed 75 times.

He was branded 'wicked and cowardly' by Judge Adele Williams.

Joshua Stimpson. Picture: Kent Police
Joshua Stimpson. Picture: Kent Police

Stimpson, of High Street, Wouldham, attacked Molly with a knife as she sat in her Citroen C2 car at the Dockside Outlet shopping centre in Chatham.

Molly, who lived in Cobham and was a former student at North Kent College in Dartford, suffered slash and stab wounds to her chest, neck and throat.

He was arrested at the scene.

Despite prompt medical attention, 23-year-old Molly could not be saved.

Stimpson admitted manslaughter, claiming diminished responsibly, but denied murder.

Molly's parents, Doug and Jo, shared their experience on the one-year anniversary of Molly's death

At a trial held at Maidstone Crown Court it was revealed that Stimpson, who was 26 when he was sentenced to life in prison in 2018, had a history of stalking previous partners.

According to Molly's father, Doug McLaren, the inability of police to flag this information when Molly reported him is a big issue.

He said: "There are some issues surrounding some of his previous girlfriends, two of whom testified at the trial and one of whom said he had slashed her mother’s car tyres.

"The issue was when Molly and Jo went to the police they couldn’t find out about this because it wasn’t a charge or evidence. It was just an allegation and they couldn’t access Staffordshire police database."

Molly on holiday with her parents
Molly on holiday with her parents

He continued: “Recommendations have been made about more co-operation between police forces in the UK, which can only be a good thing.

“I appreciate the Data Protection Act that’s been brought in but you have to ask yourself what is important in our society?

“What is important in our lives? Do you want to share information that could help people or don’t you?”

The previous two episodes of the ITV2 series looked into the murders of Grace Millane and Alex Rodda.

Grace was a British tourist backpacking in New Zealand – she was murdered by Jesse Kempson after the pair met on Tinder.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Alex was murdered by 19-year-old Matthew Mason after the pair formed a relationship online.

Social Media Murders will air tonight on ITV2 tonight at 9pm and is available on the ITV hub.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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