Man gets life for Ffion Wyn Roberts murder

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The Independent Online

A factory worker has been jailed for life for the murder of a woman who was beaten, strangled and left to drown in a ditch.

Iestyn Davies was convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict after he denied killing 22-year-old care worker Ffion Wyn Roberts.

Ms Roberts' body was found in a drainage ditch in Porthmadog, North Wales, on April 10 last year.

Davies, 54, a wool factory worker from the same village, was sentenced to life in prison and was ordered to serve a minimum term of 25 years.

The jury of seven women and five men sitting at Caernarfon Crown Court returned the verdict today after deliberating for 21 hours and 35 minutes.

The trial heard that Ms Roberts was attacked as she made her way home alone after a night out with family and friends.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Elwen Evans QC told the jury that CCTV and DNA evidence was "overwhelming" against Davies.

The court was told that Ms Roberts spent the Friday evening having drinks in local pubs with her parents but they returned home and she joined friends as the night went on and then made her way home along the main road back to Porthmadog.

CCTV captured images of her arriving at her home village.

Her body was found in a water drainage channel known as Y Cyt (The Cut), later that day.

She had bruising to her face and body and her bra was pulled over her chest and her knickers were twisted, the court heard.

A post-mortem examination found it was likely she was alive when she was placed into the water where she drowned.

The jury was told that Ms Roberts was probably left unconscious in the ditch after being strangled with part of her own scarf, as the rest of it was forced into her mouth.

Davies was also captured on CCTV during those early hours.

The defendant could be seen walking his dog and wearing tracksuit bottoms and trainers which were later recovered alongside the victim's handbag.

Miss Evans told the jury: "At 4.27am we have the last sight of Ffion turning off High Street.

"The next we see the defendant is at 5.09am coming into High Street.

"The sad truth is that Ffion was attacked, strangled and drowned during this short time."

The court heard that after killing Ms Roberts, Davies went back to his flat, changed his clothing and went about "destroying evidence".

Davies tried to dispose of his tracksuit pants, trainers and the victim's handbag by throwing them over a tidal gate.

But some of the items got lodged in the gate mechanism, including a trainer, the tracksuit bottoms and the stolen handbag.

DNA traces recovered from these three items and from the knot in the scarf used to strangle Ms Roberts were found to have a partial match to Davies.