Cwmbran lockdown killer of wife got unduly lenient jail term

Cwmbran lockdown killer of wife got unduly lenient jail term

Five years in prison for a man who killed his wife in lockdown is “unduly lenient”, an MP has said.

Labour’s Harriet Harman QC wants the attorney general to refer Anthony Williams’ case to the Court of Appeal.

Williams, 70, was cleared of murder but jailed for the manslaughter of his wife Ruth, 67, at their home in Cwmbran, Torfaen, at the start of lockdown.

He admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility, saying “I flipped out” and “didn’t know what came over me”.

Another Labour MP, Jess Phillips, has tweeted her support for Ms Harman.

Ms Harman, a former Solicitor General and Minister for Justice, tweeted she would ask the Attorney General to refer it to the Court of Appeal as an “unduly lenient sentence”.

During his Swansea Crown Court trial, the jury heard how Williams strangled his wife of 46 years after an argument on 28 March, days after the start of the first lockdown began.

Williams had not slept for several days after the start of restrictions in March because he was worrying over money, coronavirus and his health.

A psychiatrist told the court the defendant’s mental health had dramatically deteriorated after retiring in 2019, and the coronavirus pandemic had made things worse.

Mrs Williams was found slumped in the porch of their home with keys in her hand – she was later pronounced dead at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

While being driven to the police station, Williams told officers: “It wasn’t murder and I didn’t mean to murder her.

“I just flipped, it wasn’t me. I wouldn’t hurt a fly, it wasn’t me, I’m not like that and I don’t know what came over me.”

As he sentenced Williams, Judge Paul Thomas said: “The overwhelming greatest tragedy is that a lady of 67 years who was in good health had her life ended at the hands of a man she had loved for nearly 50 years.”

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