South East Wales

Argoed inquest: PC 'forgot' to use body cam at killing scene

Matthew Williams and Cerys Marie Yemm Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Cerys Yemm and Matthew Williams met about two weeks before the attack

A police officer forgot to turn on his body camera at the scene where a man killed a woman at a Caerphilly county hostel, an inquest has heard.

Prison leaver Matthew Williams was found attacking Cerys Yemm, 22, at the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Argoed on 6 November 2014.

Williams, 34, was Tasered by police who arrested him and he later died.

Gwent Coroner's Court in Newport heard PC Sion Jenkins was among five officers who tried to restrain Williams.

He told the inquest he was wearing the camera on his body armour as part of a trial by Gwent Police and its purpose was "to obtain the best evidence".

He agreed when questioned it was a "matter of regret" that he had not recorded the incident, adding he only received the camera three days earlier and had no training.

"I'd forgotten I was wearing it. I was going to the incident to deal with a violent man," he said.

The inquest heard Williams was already in handcuffs and was struggling when PC Jenkins arrived but he did not see a Taser used.

He said he attempted to hold down Williams' legs which had already been strapped together.

Another officer, Sgt Andrew Rees, told the inquest Williams was lying on his front and on top of his handcuffed arms.

He wanted to move Williams' arms behind his back because he was concerned about the impact the handcuffs had on his breathing but was advised against it.

Williams was lifted up and was breathing. A packet of white powder was found in his pocket.

'Confusion'

Meanwhile, paramedic Paul Wyatt said Williams did not need immediate help but soon after his pulse and breathing deteriorated.

Mr Wyatt said Williams was taken to the ambulance where the colour had drained from him. He died in the back of the ambulance.

Sgt Rees said there was evidence of a violent struggle in the room with smashed porcelain and "some sort of ornament with a sharp protrusion on it".

He also told the jury he did not see a Taser used and it was not usual to discharge one while someone was handcuffed "but this was an extraordinary incident".

The jury also heard claims by Miss Yemm's barrister of a "confused scene" in the Gwent Police control room as the 999 caller was given conflicting advice.

Insp Karen Evans was in charge of the incident and told residents she could not advise them if they should enter the room but the chief inspector said not to go in.

She said: "I was balancing the safety of Miss Yemm with the residents. I didn't have eyes on the scene. They might have had an opportunity to get her out."

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