JEALOUS and possessive Luke Jones “literally” beat Natasha Bradbury to death in her own home just hours after she confessed to sleeping with another man, a jury heard on Wednesday (Aug 31).
Jones, aged 33, then waited until her body was “freezing cold” before calling for an ambulance to her flat in High Street, Haverfordwest.
Then, said Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, he made up a story about her smashing up her own home in Imperial Court and falling over.
Jones, of Haven Drive, Milford Haven, denies murdering Miss Bradbury in the early hours of February 22 and is on trial at Swansea Crown Court.
Mr Lewis said Jones and Miss Bradbury, 27, had been in an “on off” relationship for three years.
In the days leading up to her death the relationship was under strain, he said, and text messages between them showed Jones was suffering emotionally.
Mr Lewis read to the jury dozens of messages that were “clearly personal and sent in the belief that no-one else would ever see them.”
“This is not like Facebook,” he added. “They are private messages between two people in a relationship.”
But they illustrated, alleged Mr Lewis, a man feeling jealous and possessive and willing to put emotional pressure on Miss Bradbury to keep their relationship going.
“It is for you (the jury) to assess. But we say that at times he expresses love, at others distress.”
On February 19 Jones, a pipe welder, told his supervisor he was unwell and made an emergency appointment with his doctor.
Jones told him he had “anger problems” and complained of losing his temper too easily and was referred to an anger management course.
“You might want to bear that in mind when considering the events that followed,“ Mr Lewis told the jury
Miss Bradbury spent the night of February 20 at the home of her friend Rhiannon Watts at Priory Road, Milford Haven, and Jones tried 26 times to contact her by telephone, including 13 attempts between 4am and 5am on the 21st.
Jones, said Mr Lewis, had already sent Miss Bradbury a text message reading, “I’m told you are seeing someone else.”
Mr Lewis said Miss Watts and Miss Bradbury had been joined that night by two brothers, Daniel and Darryl McGuckin. Miss Watts was in a relationship with Daniel and Miss Bradbury slept with his brother, Darryl.
The following morning, said Mr Lewis, Miss Watts told Jones what had happened and Miss Bradbury also contacted him to say, “Look, I’m sorry. I slept with someone last night.”
The following day Jones sent messages to friends, one of which read: “I can’t believe she’s done that. My Head’s in the shed but I’m passed caring. I loved her and gave her everything but what do I get.”
Jones later drove to Miss Bradbury’s home and between 8pm and 10pm she sent “sexual and flirtatious” messages with Darryl McGuckin.
“That takes us to ten pm,” said Mr Lewis. “What then?”
NEIGHBOURS HEARD LOUD NOISES
Neighbours of Natasha Bradbury listened to more than two hours of “shouting, swearing and the noise of a flat being smashed up” the night she was allegedly beaten to death by her on-off boyfriend.
But they only ever heard the voice of a man, said Paul Lewis QC.
That man, it is alleged, was Luke George Jones
Mr Lewis said Lisa Smith, who also had a flat in Imperial Court, High Street, Haverfordwest, heard the noises from between 11.30pm and about 2am and thought Flat A, where Miss Bradbury lived, was being smashed up.
Another neighbour, Timothy Down, became so concerned he thought about calling the police but decided “not to get involved.”
“He could hear swearing and shouting. But he heard only a man’s voice,” added Mr Lewis.
The prosecution argue that Jones was in the process of beating Miss Bradbury to death, or had already done so.
Because at 2.48am Jones told a 999 operator that Miss Bradbury was already “freezing cold and her lips are blue.”
Mr Lewis played to the jury a recording of the 15 minute telephone call, which ended when a paramedic took the telephone from Jones and told the operator, “We could do with the police.”
It took Jones at least twelve attempts to explain to ambulance control where he was.
The operator instructed Jones on how to try and resuscitate Miss Bradbury by placing one hand on top of the other on her breast bone and pumping hard.
The operator could be heard telling Jones, “Pump hard. One, two, three, four. Again, one, two, three, four.”
The operator was interrupted by an ambulance crew who had arrived in Imperial Court but could not find “Flat A,” which was, in fact, a four storey high building.”
Then, a voice could be heard asking Jones, “How long has she been lying there.”
Jones replied, “For about an hour.”
The paramedic took the ‘phone from Jones and asked, “Is that ambulance control”
The operator told him that ambulance control had gone off the line.
Paramedic:“We could do with the police here.”
Operator:“Do you want me to put you through?”
Paramedic, “No, we are dealing with a patient.”
JONES REFUSED TO ANSWER POLICE QUESTIONS
Luke Jones refused to answer questions from police investigating the “murder” of Natasha Bradbury at her flat in the centre of Haverfordwest.
And the prepared, written statements he later handed over were dismissed today as “nothing more than a pack of lies intended to avoid the consequences of what he had done to her.”
Paul Lewis QC told the jury that Jones “largely” answered none of the questions put to him by police.
But he later provided a number of prepared statements.
“He said he used no violence at all towards her and that she had suffered the injuries as a result of falling over,” added Mr Lewis.
“In essence, he appeared to be saying that her extensive injuries were accidental.
“If he maintains that account it will be for you to decide how it was she suffered the injuries that resulted in her death,” he told the jury.
“You will consider his intentions and his state of mind.”
Mr Lewis said the truth was that Jones had inflicted on Miss Bradbury a savage attack that had caused widespread and fatal injuries.
Miss Bradbury suffered extensive, blunt force injuries to her head, face and body. She suffered fractures to her neck and a wrist and there was evidence of injury to her brain.
Her heart had been bruised and there had been bleeding in the sack containing the heart.
There was also an “extensive” laceration to her liver that had led to massive bleeding into her stomach area.
“In a nutshell, he beat her to death in her own home,” added Mr Lewis.
NATASHA’S BLOOD STAINED FLAT
The jury was provided with a pictorial walk through of the blood stained flat where Natasha Bradbury met her death.
The prosecution say she died after a savage attack by her on-off boyfriend, pipe welder Luke Jones.
Despite the address, said Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, it was in fact a four storey high building.
As the photographs unfolded, blood stained items came into view.
There were blood stains on the door leading to her bedroom, and blood on the lip of the sink in her en-suite bathroom.
A bin had been overturned and the contents strewn around the bathroom. “You will hear more about that, about the contents, in due course,” Mr Lewis told the jury.
There were bloody hand marks on the banister of the stairs leading to the second floor kitchen, where “shattered crockery etc” could be seen.
There was blood on the kitchen walls, on a tissue lying on a work surface and in the kitchen sink.
There was also blood on a discarded cigarette end.
Mr Lewis said there was more blood on the banister of the stairs leading to the third floor, which contained the lounge where Miss Bradbury’s body was found.
In that room there was blood on the floor and a wall in addition to “widespread” damage.
A glass table had been smashed, as had a television, and there was glass around Miss Bradbury’s body.
A neighbour tried to record the sound of Natasha Bradbury being beaten to death, a jury heard today.
Timothy Down became so worried about the “loud, aggressive” noises coming from her flat that he hung his mobile telephone out of his bedroom window in an attempt to record them.
And then he made an electronic note on his mobile that read, “There seems to be some kind of domestic aggression coming from apartment A. Seems to be a male. The time is approximately 12.45am. Banging and shouting. Do I go across or call the police. I feel it is better to stay away.”
The prosecution at Swansea crown court say that, unknown to Mr Down, he had been listening to Miss Bradbury’s on-off boyfriend Luke George Jones beating her to death.
Mr Down, who lived in Flat D, said he was woken by the sound of “serious, heavy banging” coming from Flat A.
He said he heard a man say, “I f***ing loved you.”
A minute later he heard the same man say, “Now look what you have made me f***ing do.”
Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, asked why he hadn’t telephoned the police.
Mr Down said he rang his father who advised him not to get involved.
The prosecution claim that Jones, a pipe welder, had been worried about his relationship with Miss Bradbury and just days before her death he had told his doctor that he had difficulty controlling his temper.
The night before she was killed Miss Bradbury had stayed with a friend, Rhiannon Watts, where she had had sex with Darryl McGuckin, the brother of Miss Watts’ boyfriend Daniel McGuckin.
Miss Watts told the jury she became “angry, very angry” because they had used the bed of one her children and the following morning she contacted Jones via Facebook to tell him Miss Bradbury had slept with another man.
Jones turned up at her home, she said, but looked to her to be more upset than angry.
Daniel McGuckin said he and his brother returned to Swansea, early on February 21. Later that evening he began to exchange “sexy” messages with Miss Bradbury, even though she had slept with his brother the night before.
The messages from Miss Bradbury stopped suddenly at 10.10pm.
“I thought it was a bit strange. I never heard from her again,” he said.
The prosecution claim that Jones killed Miss Bradbury a short while later, because at 2.48am he telephoned for an ambulance and told the operator she was already “freezing cold, her lips are blue.”
Miss Bradbury died from extensive blunt force injuries that included fractures to her neck and a wrist, bleeding in the sack containing her heart and massive bleeding from a cut to her liver.
The jury has heard that after his arrest Jones gave prepared statements to the police in which he said that Miss Bradbury had caused the injuries to herself by falling down.
Jones denies murder. The trial continues.
Llanelli High Street shortlisted for prize
LLANELLI HIGH STREET has been shortlisted in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards, in proud partnership with Visa, putting them in the running for up to £15,000.
After a rigorous selection process led by a panel of independent judges, the high street has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.
The bid by Ymlaen Llanelli follows research commissioned by Visa in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities. The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71%) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason. Spending time with friends and family (25%) and offering a sense of community (18%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Llanelli for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.
“Llanelli high street is a hive of activity, with food festivals, childrens’ days and community get-togethers all part of the local calendar. A great example of how high streets can bring a renewed energy to communities.
“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”
Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.
“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”
Llanelli High Street is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify. 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.
Head Teacher at Primary school in Llanelli suspended
THE HEAD TEACHER of a Welsh primary school has been suspended, it has been confirmed.
Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins, who is head at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Llanelli, has been suspended from her duties at the school with immediate effect.
Governors at the school have been unavailable for comment, but Carmarthenshire Council confirmed the news this morning.
It is understood that the chair of the governing body is currently out of the country, and the council would not comment further on the circumstances surrounding the suspension.
The council’s director of education, Gareth Morgans, said: “School staffing is a matter for the Governing Body, however, we can confirm the headteacher of Ysgol Ffwrnes has been suspended.
“It is not appropriate to comment further.”
Mrs Lloyd-Jenkins has worked at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes for 23 years, taking up a post at the school in 1996.
She has been the headteacher there for almost 20 years, taking over the role in 2000. She has also worked as a peer inspector at Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales confirmed.
According to one local councillor, ‘serious concerns’ have been raised about the school in recent months.
“Local residents and parents have approached us raising serious concerns about the school in question,” said Carmarthenshire councillor Rob James.
“We are in dialogue with senior council officers to assert whether the allegations are credible and what action the council and governors have taken in response to these allegations.”
Dyfed-Powys Police numbers at record low, say Labour
POLICE officers based across the Dyfed-Powys area are now at their lowest levels in the last decade, with over 300 officers being lost across the region, claim Carmarthenshire Labour.
According to a freedom of information request by Carmarthenshire Labour, police officers based across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are down 42% and are at record lows in both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.
The figures published by Dyfed-Powys Police show that Carmarthenshire has lost 160 officers in the last ten years, Pembrokeshire is down 107 officers and Ceredigion has lost 56 bobbies on the beat.
These figures come off the back of a poor report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary that shows the force has gone backwards in the last year, with crime also on the increase.
HMIC’s recent PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report noted concerns about Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime and specifically warned of failures to assess all incidents of domestic abuse.
Carmarthenshire Labour Leader Cllr Rob James claims that the figures show that the current Police and Crime Commissioner is now performing worse than their predecessor.
Rob James stated: “These figures that show a dramatic decrease in police numbers are extremely worrying and reinforce what communities are saying across Dyfed Powys – there are simply not enough police officers in our areas.
“The fact that we now have lower police numbers in the three counties compared to the end of the last Police and Crime Commissioner’s term with crime now on the rise illustrates that the Plaid Cymru Commissioner is failing in his duty to protect our communities.
“We need urgent action to make our communities safe once more, as there is a clear link between the loss of youth provision and cuts to officer numbers, and the rise of crime in our communities.
“There is little evidence that our Commissioner has grasped the nettle over the last three years in tackling this important issue.”
These claims however, have been slapped down by Police and Crime Comissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn. He said that said that Cllr James had misunderstood or misrepresented the information provided to him.
The Carmarthen data have a significant rider attached to them.
The explanatory note reads: ‘It should be noted that the figures for Carmarthenshire police division between 2008 and 2018 are not comparable as the structure of Carmarthenshire division in 2018 has altered to that of 2008 which has impacted upon the figures provided’.
That explanation is expanded upon concerning the Ceredigion data. Regarding them, an explanatory note warns that: ‘[T]he structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded divisionally now come under the HQ remit, e.g. the Road Policing Unit, CID, etc.’.
Dafydd Llewelyn pointed out that note in his response to The Herald: “As outlined in the response to the Freedom of Information request, structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded as divisionally based are now recorded under the HQ remit, for example, Roads Policing Unit, CID.”
Dafydd Llewelyn continued: “Since taking up my role as the elected person to represent the many communities across the four counties served by the force, I have increased the overall resource available by 4%. I have ploughed funding into dedicated teams to support front line officers and have invested in resources to support the most vulnerable in our communities.
“I have commissioned services specific to their needs – be that as victims of domestic abuse or young people choosing to leave their homes for reasons unknown to authorities. I will continue to do this. I will not be held to account by numbers on paper alone, but by the difference I can make to individuals’ quality of life.
“I will also use the opportunity I have to campaign for services appropriate to the very specific needs an area the size of Dyfed-Powys Police has and will work with the force to adapt according to those needs.”
He concluded by pointing out: “Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remain the safest counties nationally and I’m proud to be driving a service that is willing and able to flex and respond, despite the financial challenges faced day-in-day-out.”
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