A 42-year-old man has today been convicted of murder after a pensioner was left for dead following a sustained and brutal attack in his own home.
John Williams, who was known to friends and family as Jack, was found dead at his home in Bonymaen, Swansea on March 31st after his former partner and a neighbour, who were concerned that they had not seen him, forced entry to the property on Pentrechwyth Road.
He was found badly beaten and lying face down in the lounge, with his hands bound with rope behind his back. The 67-year-old had been hit, kicked and stamped on during an assault which left him with ‘catastrophic’ injuries including a fatal head injury.
A murder investigation was launched and the three defendants – Jonathan Donne, Gemma Owen and Simon Cairns – were quickly identified as suspects.
Owen was arrested three days after Mr Williams’ body was discovered, after she was seen driving in a car with her partner, Donne. The car made off from officers but when located a short distance away a SIM card belonging to Mr Williams was found inside the seized vehicle.
Cairns – who drove the group on the fateful evening – was arrested at a block of flats on Gordon Thomas Close the following day, while Donne was arrested three days later on April 7th in the West Cross area of Swansea, following an appeal to the public by South Wales Police.
All three denied fatally assaulting the pensioner, essentially blaming one another for inflicting the fatal injuries.
However the court heard from numerous witnesses who testified that Donne had made various admissions while trying to get rid of evidence and sell the stolen drugs.
During a search warrant officers also recovered a brown holdall with the victim’s blood on it, a black leather wallet and a phone belonging to the victim, and a blue nylon rope matching that used to tie Mr Williams’ hands and containing the DNA of Donne and Mr Williams.
On Tuesday, Jonathan Donne, 42, from Townhill, was convicted of murder and robbery.
Simon Cairns, 46, of Waun Wen; and Gemma Owen, 31, of Townhill, were both found not guilty of murder and robbery.
Donne will be sentenced on Thursday 1st November.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Darren George from South Wales Police’s Major Crime Team said:
“This was a brutal and callous attack on a defenceless elderly man in his own home.
“The jury has found that Donne showed a complete disregard for Jack Williams’ life. His home was ransacked and he was tied up and badly beaten and in essence left for dead.
“Not an ounce of remorse was shown throughout the investigation or during the court proceedings.
“After a lengthy and emotional trial I am pleased the jury has found Donne guilty of murder and robbery.
“I hope today’s conviction can in some way bring closure to Mr Williams’ family and friends, who have had to endure the daily ordeal of sitting through the trial whilst grieving for their loved one, they have done so with great dignity.”