Ammanford killer Maxine Williams loses appeal

AMMANFORD killer Maxine Williams, jailed for life after stabbing her mother's boyfriend to death, can have no complaint about her conviction, top judges have ruled.

Police found a "massive outpouring of blood" after Williams, 27, repeatedly knifed Bernard Evans at the Ammanford home he shared with her mother, Julie Williams.

Williams, of Gwscwm Road, Pembrey, was handed a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years at Swansea Crown Court in October 2008, after she was convicted of murder.

Today, three of the country's most senior judges at London's Court of Appeal rejected a conviction challenge by Williams, saying claims she was "provoked" into killing the 42-year-old were nothing but "speculation".

Lord Justice Jackson said there was an "altercation" between Mr Evans and Williams during the evening of January 22, 2008, adding: "Williams stabbed Mr Evans a number of times with a kitchen knife."

Mr Evans suffered several wounds and ultimately died from a severed artery in his arm. When police arrived, they found Williams in a "hysterical state" in the garden, the appeal judge added.

After her arrest, she changed her story several times, claiming at various points she had either carried out the attack after months of planning, done it out of self-defence or to protect her family, or that she had not stabbed Mr Evans at all, Lord Justice Jackson said.

Psychiatrists said Williams, who had a young child, was suffering from an unstable personality disorder or depression, he added.

However, she was found guilty of murder after a jury unanimously rejected arguments that she had acted in self-defence and never intended to kill Mr Evans.

On appeal, Williams' barrister, Toby Long said the trial judge wrongly refused to leave it to jurors to decide whether she had lost her self-control through provocation.

Among several examples of erratic behaviour, Mr Long pointed to Williams' state when police found her in the garden after the fatal attack, screaming: "I'm going to eat you up" and "acting like an animal".

The barrister argued that domestic violence "meted out" by Mr Evans on her and her family resulted in "slow-burn" provocation that triggered her murderous attack.

Lord Justice Jackson, sitting with Mr Justice Holroyde and Judge John Milford QC, accepted there was evidence of a "general history of domestic violence" by Mr Evans, but rebuffed the provocation claims as "speculation".

He said: "It is understandable – having committed the fatal stabbing that led to a massive outpouring of blood in the house and believing that Mr Evans was dead or dying – that Williams was in a hysterical state.

"There is evidence it was the case. But we have no evidence she was in a hysterical state and lost her self-control before the stabbing."

The appeal judge concluded: "In our view, the judge's decision on this issue cannot be faulted. In the result, therefore, this appeal against conviction must be dismissed."

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