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Husband who strangled wife in first UK lockdown

A HUSBAND who “snapped” and strangled his wife five days into the first lockdown has today been caged for five years.

Anthony Williams, 70, told cops he “flipped” when wife Ruth told him to “get over it” as the UK was plunged into the March shutdown.

He strangled the 67-year-old at their home in Cwmbran, South Wales, before telling a neighbour: “Call the police, I’ve killed her”.

Williams told cops he “literally choked the living daylights” out of his wife of 46 years following the horror on March 28.

He has today been caged for five years after being cleared of murder earlier this month.

Williams had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Judge Paul Thomas said the killing was “tragic” but that Williams’ mental state was “severely affected at the time”.

He added: “The overwhelming greatest tragedy here is a lady of 67 who had so much to live for, had her life ended by an act of great violence at the hands, literally, of a man she loved for very nearly 50 years.”

‘I JUST SNAPPED’

Swansea Crown Court was told Williams had been feeling depressed and anxious over “trivial” fears he would run out of money because he was not able to visit the bank in lockown.

On the morning of March 28, Williams told police he “snapped” and started throttling his wife after she told him to calm down.

The pensioner chased Ruth downstairs and grabbed her by the throat again as she desperately tried to unlock the front door and escape.

She was discovered slumped on the porch with a set of keys clutched in her hand.

A post mortem revealed Ruth had suffered haemorrhaging in her eyes, face and mouth, which were consistent with strangulation, as well as five neck fractures.

When Williams was arrested at the scene, he told officers: “I am sorry, I just snapped, I am sorry.”

The couple’s daughter, Emma Williams, 40, told the court her parents spent “90 per cent of their time together”, were “not argumentative people”, and she had never heard either of them even “raise their voice” to each other.

She added: “My dad’s a gentle giant.

“He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

But she said Williams had started to exhibit strange behaviour as the pandemic began to grip the UK.

He became “obsessed” with turning lights off and heating to save money – despite the couple having £18,000 in their bank account.

They also had savings of around £148,000.

The killer also repeatedly watched the news and believed “no one’s ever leaving the house again”.

He told police he was worried about being unable to buy new shoes and feared he wouldn’t be able to get someone to fix roof tiles if they came loose.

Williams also said he found lockdown “really, really hard” just five days into the restrictions and felt “depressed”.

SUN IT