South West Wales

Swansea man shot father with homemade gun

Thomas Williams
Image caption Thomas Williams will spend at least six years in custody

A man has been jailed for life for shooting his sleeping father with a homemade gun twice in the head.

Thomas Williams, 23, then stabbed his father Tony 16 times.

A judge at Cardiff Crown Court heard that he then left a note on the bedroom at the family home near Pontardawe, stating: "Please don't enter Mum."

Williams admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after the court heard he had paranoid schizophrenia.

The court heard police found that Williams, a former electronics and engineering student, hid a cache of weapons and bomb-making equipment at the three-bedroom family home.

Officers who searched his bedroom found he had scrawled on a pillow: "Ha, ha, scum. Die and burn in hell."

Prosecuting barrister Christopher Clee QC said tension had built between Williams and his father, 56, in the year before the killing - after he dropped out of three different college courses.

"Mrs Williams described an almost complete breakdown in the relationship between father and son," he said.

"She acted as a buffer between them saying, 'I should have got out years ago'.

"Her husband believed their son was making bullets and bombs in the garage. They noticed bleach was going missing and they confronted their son, who said he was carrying out chemical experiments.

"The day before he died, Tony told his wife: "He's going to kill us."

Mr Clee said: "He went into his father's room armed with a knife and a gun he had manufactured. He shot his father and then stabbed him to death.

"Mrs Williams returned home and found the landing in disarray with the post-it note on the door.

"She went into the bedroom and found her husband dead on the floor."

A post-mortem examination found two gunshot wounds on his face and 16 stab wounds on the body of the former telecoms engineer.

Williams had studied electronics at the University of Glamorgan before dropping out to start another degree in computer games development.

But he later left and started studying engineering before leaving education altogether.

Williams' mother Valerie blamed the internet for "twisting the mind" of her only son.

She said: "I believe his accessing of certain internet sites has affected and corrupted his perceptions and beliefs."

Mrs Williams said she and daughter Helen, 21, a pharmacology student at Edinburgh university, were "devastated".

She said: "This has left a huge void in my life. Tony and I were inseparable.

"The last year has been extremely difficult - not only have I lost my husband but, in a sense, also my son who has taken his father's life in such a cruel way.

Serious risk

"I can see no justification for this. His last minutes must have been truly hellish with the realisation that this was no stranger but his own son.

"I have felt torn in two, grieving for Tony and concerned about my son's mental illness."

Mr Williams's body was discovered in March last year at the family home in Rhydyfro, near Pontardawe.

In mitigation Elwen Evans QC said Williams had a very severe form of paranoid schizophrenia and was "significantly ill".

Mr Justice David Lloyd Jones jailed Williams for life with a minimum tariff of six years but ordered him to go Ashworth secure hospital in Merseyside.

He told him: "You killed your father in a sustained and very violent attack. You pose a very serious risk to the public."

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