Risk of internet dating
Speaking for the first time since his sister Sharon Winters was murdered by online lover Kevin Hawke, Stephen urges women to be wary of meeting men on the internet."She was a lonely heart just wanting love," Stephen said of his sister."That animal preyed on her caring nature."I still can't believe someone would want to hurt my poor, defenceless sister in such a horrific manner," he added.All she wanted to do was find her soulmate."She wore her heart on her sleeve."She was kind and caring – a lovely woman."Sharon started looking on internet dating sites in 2013, when she was off work with depression.And Stephen, who is a father-of-seven, feared that men were taking advantage of his susceptible younger sister.The 33-year-old was jailed for a minimum of 17-and-a-half years after he admitted murder in July last year.Liverpool Crown Court was told Hawke, of no fixed abode, moved into Sharon's house after just one date, and started controlling the 39-year-old, who suffered from depression and had learning difficulties.Stephan begged her to end the relationship after hearing that Hawke used to "push his sister around."But Sharon told her brother that she was "just desperate to be loved" and stopped speaking to him shortly after."She continued her relationship with that monster," her devastated brother said.
And now Stephan, from Wirral, Merseyside, is determined that his sister's death will not in vain.He said: "I used to check up on her all the time, I was incredibly protective."One day when I was taking her over some shopping, I noticed she was looking brighter, and she told me she'd met someone online."She showed me their messages to one another and I was horrified.He told how his sibling suffered more than 90 injuries, including being stabbed in the liver, spleen, lungs and heart with a four-and-a-half inch knife.After stabbing Sharon, Hawke had a beer before calling the police.
He is appealing for women in violent relationships to seek help, and be cautious when online dating.
The 44-year-old said: "Sharon was the kindest, most loving sister.