The murder of pregnant women is mercifully an extremely rare occurrence. Kelly Fauvrelle (pictured) was sadly one of those women.
By Chris Summers 18 July 2020
The murder of Kelly Fauvrelle – who was eight months pregnant – may have been sparked by something as trivial as an email invoice for clothes bought from the online shopping company Boohoo.
Three hours before he stabbed Kelly to death at her home in south London on 29 June 2019 – inadvertently stopping the oxygen supply to her baby Riley for a crucial 20 minutes and therefore causing his death too – Aaron McKenzie had been trawling through her emails on his mobile phone.
The Old Bailey jury was told McKenzie knew his ex-girlfriend’s gmail password and digital forensic analysis of his phone showed he was accessing her e-mails between 11.04pm and 12.27am.
Duncan Penny QC, prosecuting, said: “One e-mail which might have drawn his attention was an e-mail generated by an internet order dated 22 June 2019 placed with boohooman.com. It was paid for using Kelly’s Paypal account but it was delivered to a Rolander Chigwada at an address elsewhere in Thornton Heath.”
To McKenzie, 25, it was the evidence which proved his suspicions – the mother of his unborn child had lost her heart to another man….and she was about to be punished in the most brutal way imaginable.
Kelly and McKenzie – who was known to her family as Ty – had been boyfriend and girlfriend for a couple of years and had lived together at her mother’s home in Raymead Avenue, Thornton Heath and before that in Upper Norwood.
Kelly, who was 26, worked for the Royal Mail and one of her colleagues and friends was Rolander Chigwada, who was known as Ro.
In December 2018 Kelly collapsed while at work and was taken to hospital, where she discovered she was pregnant.
But Kelly’s relationship with McKenzie was already in trouble – she would describe it as “toxic” – and on 10 February 2019 she broke up with him and told him she wanted to raise their child by herself, although she reassured him he would be able to play a role as its father.
Aaron, who had autistic spectrum disorder and had suffered with depression in the past, struggled to cope with being dumped.
He repeatedly sent Kelly messages on WhatsApp and on 20 March he asked if they could meet up and get something to eat.
She replied: “I rather we didn’t to be honest…I’ve finally gotten my life together and I’m finally happy again…and being around u doesn’t make me happy and I can’t do that…I want u to be part of ours kid’s life as much as u can…and I want us to be able to communicate with each other in regards to the baby…and I promise I will never deny you your child…but anything else…is over.”
But in the late spring and early summer of 2019 Kelly, although heavily pregnant by another man, was falling in love with Ro Chigwada, who she called ‘King’.
She was secretive about the relationship, possibly feeling it was inappropriate in the circumstances.
But a week before she died her sister Melissa noticed she was wearing a bracelet with the word Queen on it, which matched Ro’s nickname.
In fact in the days before Kelly died she was in a good mood because things were looking up.
Not only was the relationship with Ro going well – he was due to be introduced to her family on 1 July – but she was hopeful of getting a new job with the Communication Workers’ Union, who represented Royal Mail staff.
On the evening of Friday 28 June Kelly had spent the evening at home with her mother, her sister, her little nephew and their brothers Steven and Stephan.
Kelly and her sister had bedrooms on the ground floor while her mother and brothers slept upstairs.
At 8pm Kelly said goodnight to her sister and mother, who were watching a film, and retired to her own bedroom.
At 3.15am all hell broke loose.
Melissa and her mother, Mary, were woken by Kelly’s screams. Her mother thought she had gone into labour early but the truth was very different.
Mr Penny told the jury: “An intruder broke into her bedroom through patio doors at the rear. That intruder proceeded to launch a vicious and cowardly attack. He inflicted 21 stab wounds. In the process the intruder not only murdered Kelly Fauvrelle but also killed inflicted fatal injuries on Riley, her unborn child. That intruder was this defendant.”
Kelly suffered “catastrophic” injuries and paramedics who arrived at the scene decided to carry out an emergency Caesarean in a bid to save Riley’s life. But four days later he died in hospital as a result of brain damage.
When Melissa entered her sister’s room she described a scene of utter carnage.
The killer had already left and Melissa was so bewildered by her sister’s injuries, the blood and the open door that she initially thought she had been attacked by a fox which had come in from the garden.
McKenzie was caught on CCTV in the area as he arrived and left on foot before getting back on his motorbike and riding back to a friend’s house nearby.
At 7am his driving instructor texted to see if he was still on for a driving lesson at 8.30am that Saturday morning and he replied: “All good.”
The driving instructor later told police he acted normally and “seemed really happy” during the lesson.
Later that afternoon police called on McKenzie to break the news of Kelly’s death but he showed no emotion.
He was told his son was fighting for his life in intensive care but instead of going straight to the hospital McKenzie went back to his friend’s house and disposed of some evidence. He eventually arrived at the hospital around midnight.
McKenzie’s odd behaviour triggered the suspicions of detectives, who brought him in for interview.
He told a string of “lies” before he finally confessed.
McKenzie told police: “I wish it never happened…It was definitely not planned…I’ve done wrong and need to face the consequences. My biggest regret now is that I can’t get anything back.”
But McKenzie’s confession was self-serving and riddled with inconsistencies.
He admitted taking a knife to the house but claimed: “I don’t know what my intention was at that time.”
McKenzie knew Kelly’s room was on the ground floor and that she often left her patio doors open on warm summer nights.
He said when she woke up and saw a figure standing over her she “panicked and screamed”.
McKenzie said: “I had not done anything when she screamed but at that point, I think now, that I just thought ‘I am here now. I’ve just got to finish it off.’
He admitted stabbing her but claimed “I had no anger towards her” and also denied being aware she had a new boyfriend.
McKenzie said: “Afterwards nothing has sunk in. It didn’t seem real. As if it was never me. It had nothing to do with me. As if it was someone else. I was genuinely upset that Kelly and then my baby had both been killed…It is a weird feeling. I can’t explain more.”
But when it came to his trial, McKenzie retracted his confession and claimed he was not the knifeman.
He gave evidence that Kelly owed money to a “baccy man” – a tobacco merchant – called Mike and that it was him who killed her.
It was such a preposterous story, and so out of whack with the mountain of evidence against McKenzie, that it took the jury only a few hours to find him guilty.
On 17 July McKenzie was jailed for life and was told he would have to serve a minimum of 35 years behind bars.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Norman said: “This is justice, but in no way will it compensate for the devastation that McKenzie’s actions have caused to this family.”
Kelly’s sister Melissa said: “This was an act of pure evil” and Kelly’s father Jean Fauvrelle said: “Aaron McKenzie’s evil act has devastated our lives. My heart physically aches, but those words do not feel sufficient.”
Judge Mark Lucraft QC told him: “It’s clear from all the evidence this was the most vicious and deliberate killing.”
McKenzie gave the judge a thumbs up as he was sent down.