South East Wales

Pen attack murderer Colin Capp given life sentence

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 handed a life sentence for murder.

Colin Capp, 23, from Scotland, attacked Darren Thomas, 45, while he slept in their cell in March 2014.

Capp was convicted of murder at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday.

On Friday, Mrs Justice Carr handed him a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years behind bars for the "sustained and vicious attack".

The court heard Mr Thomas had started a 12-week sentence for breaching an Asbo at HMP Cardiff when he was found dead with a plastic bag wrapped tightly around his head on 6 March.

He died as a result of strangulation, suffocation or both.

The court heard Capp, an arsonist originally from Inverness, had been recalled to prison after checking himself into a psychiatric ward, saying he was thinking of starting more fires.

He admitted killing Mr Thomas but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

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

The court heard evidence he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, which would have prevented him from controlling himself.

But a jury rejected his defence and found him guilty of murder after considering its verdict for just half an hour at the end of a week-long trial.

Capp sat motionless in the dock as the the judge told him: "I have no doubt you intended to kill him. This was a concerted sustained and vicious attack. You have shown no remorse."

'Pain and anguish'

"You knew what you were doing, and that it was very wrong, and you could have prevented or stopped your actions," she added.

A victim impact statement, written by Mr Thomas's mother, Susan Davies, was read out by her son Jeremy Thomas.

It read: "Words can not express the pain and anguish us as family and friends have endured since that day.

"The emotional damage that Colin Capp has inflicted upon us will remain forever in our hearts."

The Prison Service welcomed the sentence and said the circumstances of the incident would be investigated by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman.

A spokesman added: "We take our duty to keep prisoners, staff and and others safe extremely seriously. Violence of any kind is not tolerated and serious incidents will be referred to the police for prosecution."

Related Topics

More on this story