South East Wales

Argoed killing: Matthew Williams Tasered 'four times'

Matthew Williams and Cerys Marie Yemm Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Officers found Matthew Williams attacking Cerys Yemm at the hostel

An armed officer who Tasered a man found killing a woman in a hostel has told an inquest the attack was "the most horrendous thing" he had seen.

Matthew Williams attacked Cerys Yemm, 22, at the Sirhowy Arms Hotel in Argoed on 6 November 2014.

PC Alan Cotterell said Williams "looked possessed" when he confronted him in the hotel room after a 999 call.

Williams was Tasered four times, the officer claimed. He was arrested and later died.

The Taser-trained officer told the Newport inquest he recognised Williams' name when it was given over the radio.

PC Cotterell said: "I have never been more scared in my entire life.

"I spoke to him but he was looking possessed. There was an angry sort of look and his eyes were almost all black."

PC Cotterell said he had dealt with Williams a few times previously, the first being in 2012 when Williams was Tasered by another officer and it had not worked.

He understood firearms officers were engaged to use deadly force if required, he said, adding there had been a discussion about whether the Taser-trained officers should go into the room or just "contain" the scene and wait for the firearms officers.

PC Cotterell said he knew Williams was a "rather large, violent male" and shouted at him that he was armed and should move away from Ms Yemm's body.

But Williams lay on the floor "snarling and growling" as he refused to listen.

The PC then decided to fire his Taser at Williams, holding it for seven seconds instead of the usual five-second blast.

Williams started to try and get up again "lifting up the officers as if we weren't even there".

PC Cotterell said: "In my opinion he was trying to get to his feet to carry on the attack.

"He would've caused further damage to Miss Yemm and we would've been struggling to restrain and contain him."

Three more Taser shots were fired - one hitting him between the eyes. Williams was then arrested at the scene and later died.

'Truly awful'

Earlier, Raymond Miles, who let police into Williams' room during the attack, told the jury he thought officers' actions were justified.

Mr Miles described hearing "thumping and grunting" inside the room and said he was fearful "something truly awful" was happening.

The husband of the Caerphilly county hostel's owner told the jury he opened the door to let officers in, after asking "if they were ready".

He described seeing Williams on top of Ms Yemm, saying it was "clear that Cerys was dead" and that Williams was still attacking her face with "his hands on her eyes or in her mouth".

Mr Miles agreed police needed to restrain Williams and needed to use force to do it and said he did not believe officers used too much.

The inquest continues.

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