He just flipped

Another entry in the Big Book of Guy Snaps, Kills Nearest Woman:

A man has been found not guilty of murdering his wife, just days into the first national Covid lockdown.

That is, the not-murder happened just days into the lockdown. The verdict was three days ago.

Anthony Williams, 70, said he “just flipped” and strangled his wife Ruth at their home in Cwmbran, Torfaen.

Williams, of Brynglas, Hollybush, denied murdering the 67-year-old in March 2020, but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

It was the merest chance that he was home at the time. He could have been miles away, in which case he might have “just flipped” at a burly young man, and been slapped instead of accidentally killing his wife.

Anyway, at least the police are doing a brilliant job of telling women not to talk about it.

A Plaid Cymru politician has been ordered to appear in court after she retweeted “highly inappropriate” comments about a murder trial.

Helen Mary Jones MS shared a tweet from a domestic abuse campaigner expressing “hope” that a man would be found guilty of murdering his wife. The tweet was posted on Saturday and shared by Ms Jones the same day.

It related to the trial of Anthony Williams, 70, who killed his wife during lockdown in March. The tweet was written by Rachel Williams, who was shot at her Newport hair salon by her estranged husband Darren Williams in 2011.

Rachel Williams is now an anti-domestic violence campaigner.

Her tweet included the comment: “As so many of us will know, there would have been history of domestic abuse. I hope this jury finds him guilty of murder.”

Both Ms Jones and Ms Williams have been ordered by Judge Paul Thomas to appear at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday. Ms Williams deleted the tweet on Monday, after being contacted by Gwent Police officers on the instruction of the judge.

No evidence was heard during the trial that the defendant had a history of domestic abuse.

That’s interesting, but here’s something else that’s interesting: domestic abuse doesn’t necessarily leave a huge and easy to find stash of evidence. Domestic abuse tends to be kept secret, with more abuse always ready to enforce the secrecy. It’s kind of special that way. The “domestic” part means the perp has ways of threatening and controlling the victim that other abusers don’t have. All this means that no evidence during the trial doesn’t necessarily mean much.

In England and Wales, jurors are meant to deliver verdicts solely based on evidence heard in court, and told to ignore any information or commentary from external sources, including on social media.

The Contempt of Court Act makes it an offence to publish anything which could prejudice or impede a trial.

Does Twitter count as “publishing”?

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