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Molly McLaren's (R) boyfriend Joshua Stimpson (L) was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. Joshua Stimpson / Facebook

Police have charged the boyfriend of a 23-year-old student who had her throat slit in a shopping centre car park in Kent with murder.

University of Kent student Molly McLaren was brutally attacked at the Dockside outlet centre in Chatham, on Thursday (29 June) at around 11am GMT.

McLaren, of Cobham, near Gravesend, was believed to have been sitting in the passenger seat of a black Citroen C1 when she was attacked, with police saying she sustained injuries consistent with stabbing and died at the scene.

Joshua Stimpson, from Wouldham, Rochester, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and subsequently charged with murder by officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

The 25-year-old appeared via video link at Medway Magistrates' Court on Friday and was remanded in custody to appear before Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 3 July.

Officers will now investigate if McLaren, who had been studying Exercise, Sport and Health Education, had made any previous reports to Kent Police regarding Stimpson.

Horrified witnesses looked on as Molly was savagely attacked in what is thought to be a "domestic incident". The Daily Mail reported that she had attempted to sound the horn and scream for help.

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Molly McLaren was killed on Thursday (29 June). Kent Police

Police earlier said the victim and the suspect were known to each other and enquiries into the incident remain ongoing.

Floral tributes were left near the shopping centre car park while social media users paid tribute to McLaren, who had worked as a shop assistant and as a waitress, online.

Kevin White tweeted: "Thoughts and condolences to the family of Molly McLaren. It was a pleasure to work with her and was a model employee. Such sad news."

While Jamie Heath said: "I can't believe what I have just read. Most loveliest down to earth girl I've met, heart of gold. Gone too soon. RIP Molly McLaren."

Kent Police has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and they will determine whether there is a requirement for them to investigate.