UK’s first coronavirus murder as husband is arrested over death of wife

UK’s first coronavirus murder as husband is arrested over death of wife

A pensioner is accused of killing his wife in self-isolation in Britain’s first coronavirus murder case.

Grandmother Ruth Williams, 67 was found unconscious at the home she shared with Anthony, 69, where they had been in quarantine.

She was taken to hospital but was later pronounced dead.

Domestic abuse campaigners have warned that the lockdown could spark a ‘pandemic’ in violence against spouses and partners.

Victims have been told they can leave home to seek help at refuges but fears remain that cases will spike anyway.

Neighbours of the couple in Brynglas, South Wales, said the Williamses had lived in their semi-detached home for some 20 years.

A neighbour said: ‘This is such a shock. I hadn’t seen them for a while but everybody around here seems to be in isolation.

‘Police have been here all over the weekend carrying out searches at the home. It’s a real tragedy.’

Another said: ‘They had a couple of kids and granchildren. This is just awful.

‘The family can’t even grieve properly together.’

A police spokesperson said: ‘Gwent Police received a call to an address in Brynglas, Cwmbran at around 6.50am on Saturday 28 March.

‘67-year-old Ruth Williams was found unconscious and unresponsive at the premises. She was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where she sadly died.

‘A 69-year-old man was arrested, he’s since been charged with murder.’

Rachel Williams, of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse, said: ‘We know there’s a massive influx likely and it will be a pandemic on a pandemic.’

‘The perpetrators and the victims would normally spend some parts of the day in work or socialising.

‘That could give the victims breathing space and someone to talk to.

‘The children are also not in school which means they don’t have a safety net – and in some cases a decent meal.

‘Now they’re all sharing their surroundings 24/7 with no breathing space. It will be tougher than normal.’