A PENSIONER who "snapped" and strangled his wife five days into the first lockdown has today been caged for five years.
Anthony Williams, 70, told cops he "flipped" when wife Ruth told him to "get over it" as the UK was plunged into the March shutdown.
He strangled the 67-year-old at their home in Cwmbran, South Wales, before telling a neighbour: "Call the police, I've killed her".
Williams told cops he "literally choked the living daylights" out of his wife of 46 years following the horror on March 28.
He has today been caged for five years after being cleared of murder earlier this month but admitting manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
Judge Paul Thomas said the killing was "tragic" but that Williams' mental state was "severely affected at the time".
Swansea Crown Court was told Williams had been feeling depressed and anxious over "trivial" fears he would run out of money because he was not able to visit the bank in lockown.
'I JUST SNAPPED'
On the morning of March 28, Williams told police "snapped" and started throttling his wife after she told him to calm down.
The monster chased Ruth downstairs and grabbed her by the throat again as she desperately tried to unlock the front door and escape.
She was discovered slumped on the porch with a set of keys clutched in her hand.
A post mortem revealed Ruth had suffered haemorrhaging in her eyes, face and mouth, which were consistent with strangulation, as well as five neck fractures.
When Williams was arrested at the scene, he told officers: "I am sorry, I just snapped, I am sorry."
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
The couple's daughter, Emma Williams, 40, told the court her parents spent "90 per cenr of their time together", were "not argumentative people", and she had never heard either of them even "raise their voice" to each other.
She added: "My dad's a gentle giant.
"He wouldn't hurt a fly."
But she said Williams had started to exhibit strange behaviour as the pandemic began to grip the UK.
He became "obsessed" with turning lights off and heating to save money – despite the couple having £18,000 in their bank account.
They also had savings of around £148,000.
The killer also repeatedly watched the news and believed "no one's ever leaving the house again".
He told police he was worried about being unable to buy new shoes and feared he wouldn't be able to get someone to fix roof tiles if they came loose.
Williams also said he found lockdown "really, really hard" just five days into the restrictions and felt "depressed".
'KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING'
He claimed he had not been coping "very well" in the 18 months since he retired from a factory as the couple "didn't have much of a social life".
But he said his wife was "happy" after she left Asda four years earlier and claimed the "friction" between them was when he neglected household chores.
A psychologist who gave evidence during the trial said his mental health problems were "heightened" by the tough measures.
But a second expert argued he believed Williams "knew what he was doing at the time".
Nicki Norman, Acting Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: "COVID-19 does not cause homicide – abusers do. Domestic homicides are usually underpinned by a longstanding pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour by the abuser.”
“Three women are murdered by their partner or ex-partner every fortnight in England and Wales. With reported domestic abuse cases rising worldwide during the pandemic, there is a real risk that murders may rise further still. “
“However, COVID-19 will not cause domestic homicides – only abusers are responsible for their actions. The pandemic does, however, threaten to escalate abuse and close down routes to safety for women to escape.”
Source: Read Full Article