North East Wales

Denbighshire farmer's tractor rampage after break-up

A drunken farmer went on the rampage in a tractor after his wife told him she was leaving him, causing £20,000 worth of damage, a court heard.

Knowing his wife wanted to separate, Melfyn Lloyd Williams, 41, got into his tractor armed with a shotgun and ammunition.

He rammed buildings and gates near his home in Saron, Denbighshire.

At Mold Crown Court, he admitted affray and criminal damage and received a suspended jail sentence.

Williams must do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 costs.

Judge Niclas Parry made a five year restraining order for Williams not to approach his victims.

It was accepted by the prosecution that Williams only intended to hurt himself and a charge of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence was dropped earlier.

'Out of control'

Williams' wife, Lisa, was not at home but his parents-in-law, Ann and Eric Edwards, and his sister-in-law Iona Edwards Jones, were.

The court heard he lived with his wife at the farm, and their relatives lived in two neighbouring houses.

Armed police and the North Wales Police helicopter were called, but Williams was found injured and semi-conscious after collapsing near the tractor, which got stuck.

Judge Parry jailed him for 52 weeks, suspended for two years, and placed him on a supervision order.

"You were armed, drunk and out of control," the judge told him.

As a result of the incident he had lost his home, his wife and had seen little of his children, the court heard.

Owen Edwards, defending, said Williams had clearly been depressed but his condition was now better.

The incident was extremely serious, the defendant had frightened himself and could not believe looking back that he had acted in such a way, the court heard.

While the complainants may not be able to forgive him, it was his hope that they could return to normality, said Mr Edwards.