South West Wales

Neath man pleads guilty to manslaughter of Andrea Lewis

Swansea Crown Court

A man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a woman who was found dead at a house in Neath.

The body of Andrea Lewis, 51, was discovered at a property on Fairyland Road, Tonna on 30 January.

Rhys Hobbs, 44, of Tonna, was due to stand trial for murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Keith Thomas, 46, was found formally not guilty of murder after the prosecution offered no evidence against him at Swansea Crown Court.

The hearing was told how all three had been drinking at the St Ives pub in Neath the previous evening.

Ms Lewis, from Resolven, had been in a relationship with Rhys Hobbs and often stayed at the house that he rented from Keith Thomas.

'Violent' relationship

The court heard how Hobbs began attacking her inside the property, before dragging her outside, where she died of her injuries.

He found her the following morning and took her inside before calling for an ambulance.

Ms Lewis suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs and 41 separate areas of bruising.

Roger Thomas QC, prosecuting, said the relationship was "at best tempestuous, at worst violent".

Vincent Coughlin QC, representing Hobbs, said: "He accepts full responsibility for the violence that was inflicted on the deceased."

The court heard that Hobbs had "little or no recollection of what occurred as a result of his extremely drunken state".

He will be sentenced on 11 August.