Man 'tried to kill partner for money'

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The Independent Online

A father-to-be tried to murder his heavily pregnant girlfriend with a hammer as she slept so he could benefit from her will and begin a new life with another woman, a court heard today.

Powerfully-built Simon Morris, 37, launched the attack on defenceless Nerys Price, 35, but disguised it to look like intruders, Mold Crown Court heard.

He hit her twice in the head with the sharp end of a bricky's hammer when she was 38 weeks pregnant with his child.

Morris was the "driving force" behind Ms Price changing her will just weeks before the assault at their home in Prestatyn, north Wales, on August 15 2007, it is claimed.

He stood to land about £145,000 from her death in service pension benefit - but in total he would have received hundreds of thousands from her death, Patrick Harrington QC said.



"The perpetrator was Simon David Morris," said Mr Harrington, prosecuting.



"Nerys Price thought he was her loving, doting boyfriend and father of her unborn child.



"For his own wicked reasons he had determined to kill his partner.



"The brutality of the attack is compounded by his outrageous cynicism and all he did at the time and subsequently.



"There were two motives for his wickedness - two of the oldest motives known to us all.



"Firstly, he had begun a new relationship with another woman.



"He wanted out of the relationship with Nerys Price, and in these days that's not difficult, things can be done.



"But Simon Morris is not only a wicked, violent man.



"He is a greedy and grasping man because there would be a financial motive for his behaviour.



"If Nerys died he stood to inherit hundreds of thousands of pounds."



The seriousness of "savage" attack was not apparent to the emergency services, said the barrister.



Ms Price was able to walk and talk.



And though her skull had a double fracture, her thick hair covered up what little blood there was.



It was only later that her grave condition became obvious.



Her baby, Freya, was born by Caesarean section at Clwyd Hospital and she was transferred to the specialist Walton Neurological Centre in Liverpool.



Both mother and daughter are fine now, the court was told.