South East Wales

Cardiff prisoner Colin Capp guilty of pen attack murder

Colin Capp Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Colin Capp was in prison for arson when he attacked his cellmate

An inmate at Cardiff prison who stabbed his cellmate in the neck 100 times with a ballpoint pen has been found guilty of murder.

Colin Capp, 23, attacked Darren Thomas, 45, while he slept in their cell in March 2014, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Mr Thomas was found with a plastic bag around his head; his death was caused by strangulation, suffocation or both.

Capp, from Scotland, admitted killing Mr Thomas but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The court had heard Mr Thomas had just started a 12-week sentence at HMP Cardiff for breaching an Asbo banning him from entering Cardiff city centre.

He was put in a cell with Capp - an arsonist who had been recalled to prison after checking himself into a psychiatric ward saying he was thinking of starting more fires.

During the trial, the defence said that Capp was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

However a consultant psychiatrist, on behalf of the prosecution, believed Capp had a personality disorder rather than a mental illness and knew what he was doing when he killed his cellmate.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Darren Thomas was stabbed in his sleep in Cardiff prison

Following the conviction, Mr Thomas's family said he died in a place where he should have been safe.

"Darren was a much loved son, step-son and brother who met his death in horrible circumstances and who did not deserve to have his life taken away at such a young age," they said in a statement.

Det Insp Ceri Hughes of South Wales Police, said: "With today's verdict I hope that Darren's family can now begin to move on in their lives in the knowledge that others will be protected from harm by the person responsible who has caused much anguish."

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