Wales

Family's abuse plea after Mountain Ash murder

Bethan Louise Callaghan
Image caption Bethan Callaghan had refused help over her partner's violence

The family of a woman murdered by her partner have urged victims of domestic abuse to "not suffer in silence".

Bethan Callaghan, 20, was beaten up by "possessive and jealous" Terry Andrews, 36, at their home in Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, but Andrews waited 14 hours before calling an ambulance.

He had denied murder but was convicted at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court and was jailed for life.

Ms Callaghan's family said "there are people that care and can help".

The trial on Tuesday heard that Andrews had "punched and kicked" Ms Callaghan in their home before taking her body into a back lane.

The pair had argued about text messages Ms Callaghan had received, the court heard.

He later carried his partner's body in a wheelbarrow back into their home after telling neighbours that she had been hit by a car.

When he eventually called paramedics, he told them she "didn't want a fuss" by having an ambulance. But she died later in hospital.

'Compulsive liar'

Judge Justice John Griffith Williams called Andrews a "compulsive liar" after he changed his story during the trial.

Andrews admitted punching Ms Callaghan "once or twice", but said he had found her in the back lane after she had fallen down stairs.

He later said he had punched her in self defence after she attacked him with a knife at around 0100 BST one morning last September.

The court heard Andrews did not call an ambulance until 1500 BST the following day.

The judge said Andrews must serve a minimum of 16 years for the murder.

Det Insp Mark Lewis said: "He beat her up, dragged her into the lane and wheeled her back inside hoping she would recover."

'Pursue perpetrators'

The court heard Andrews was known to have been violent to his partner of three years but she had refused help.

After the hearing, Ms Callaghan's family said: "If there is anything positive to be drawn out of this tragedy it is that we would hope that people, who are victims of domestic abuse, no longer suffer in silence.

"We would ask them to find the courage to make that one phone call as there are people that care and can help."

Det Insp Lewis said added: "South Wales Police is committed to tackling domestic violence and we always pursue perpetrators while also working in conjunction with our partners to provide support for victims.

"I would urge anyone who is suffering from domestic violence to seek support as there is help out there."

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